5 Helpful Tips for Dealing with Dysphagia

5 Helpful Tips for Dealing with Dysphagia
5 Helpful Tips for Dealing with Dysphagia

Dealing with any medical condition is easier when you are armed with the facts about what you’re facing. Dysphagia is no different. For people who have received a dysphagia prognosis, there are management tips for making life easier. The condition develops for lots of different reasons, some serious and some less concerning. Whatever the source, it is still important to understand how to move forward, and this guide has five helpful tips to support doing just that. 

Know Your Triggers

Given that dysphagia mainly affects eating and drinking, in that it creates a painful swallowing process, it is good to be aware of what triggers you. This might mean keeping a food and drink diary that you can cross reference as and when symptoms fluctuate. This will be helpful to map the condition as it progresses and avoid triggers that make life more painful. Dysphagia sufferers tend to find life easier with softer foods and thicker drinks as they support easier swallowing techniques and therefore lessen the pain. 

Use Specialized Products

Alongside knowing your triggers and taking a look at what you are eating, you can also embrace specialized products. Just like you would treat a headache with paracetamol because it would ease the pain, there are brands like Simply Thick that have a great range of thickeners and other products to support people with swallowing conditions needing to better support their lifestyle. 

Support the Symptoms

Just like any condition, there are other symptoms borne from the main affliction. That means, when you are struggling to swallow, it can either cause or bring about other things too — for example, pain and heartburn or even drooling. It is important to stay hydrated to counteract all of this, and with the help of your doctor, find suitable medication to manage the more debilitating things. 

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Stay Alert

The best thing you can do is to really manage life from this point forward. It is essential that you are fully engaged with your symptoms and do not ignore anything that gets worse or changes. While the risk is often minimal, dysphagia can develop over time and cause bigger health concerns. A food and symptom diary, as mentioned above, is a great place to start. Where there are developments, always book an appointment and run it past your doctor. 

Consider Posture and Exercise

Posture and muscle strengthening exercises are a good path to explore. A good physiotherapist with specialist knowledge will be able to advise on the best approach to take. Sometimes, strengthening the muscles in the throat is very useful and may even put a stop to the issue in milder circumstances. Posture when you’re eating is important too. Sitting up straight instead of slouching forward and allowing a clear course for the mouth to chew, swallow and intake will help a lot during meal or snack times. 

Dysphagia can happen to anyone for a variety of reasons. If you do notice the warning signs, make an appointment and have an official assessment as this is the only way to get the best course of treatment and support.

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