Swallowing Disorders in Multiple Sclerosis | MS Association of America
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Home > About MS > What are the Symptoms of MS? > Swallowing Disorders
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Swallowing Disorders

Swallowing is a complex process that involves chewing, then moving food to the back of the mouth, the pharynx, and through the esophagus into the stomach. Depending on lesion pattern, one or more of these processes may be affected. A speech/swallowing pathologist will evaluate the source of the problem and determine how best to manage the problem. The goal of therapy is to ensure that swallowing is safe, to prevent food from entering the airway and lungs, where it can cause aspiration pneumonia. It will also focus on ensuring that food and fluid intake is sufficient for optimal health.

Non-Pharmacologic Management

Safe Swallowing Techniques

Techniques designed to promote safe swallowing are individually designed based on an evaluation of an individual 's swallowing pattern. To ensure safe swallowing, a medical professional or therapist can provide detailed instructions concerning the kinds of foods that should be eaten, the best way to manage liquids, avoiding foods and liquids that may cause problems, and adjusting posture and head angle when swallowing.

Feeding Tube

If safe swallowing techniques are not sufficient, in rare instances a feeding tube may need to be used.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 October 2013 12:51