Information for patients

About dysphagia

Dysphagia describes any difficulties or pain in eating, chewing, drinking or swallowing.

Dysphagia can affect a wide variety of people, including:

  • Stroke survivors
  • People with Parkinson’s disease
  • People with motor neurone disease (MND)
  • People with multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • People with head and neck cancer
  • People with dementia
  • People with cerebral palsy
  • People with learning disabilities
  • Older people whose swallowing capacities have reduced

 

Dysphagia may improve as recovery takes place, such as following a stroke; however, in other cases the condition may deteriorate.

 

Swallowing diagrams

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information_for_patients

How food and drink can become a hazard

When there is a weakness, or uncoordinated action, of the mouth and throat muscles, there is a risk that food and drink may go into the lungs instead of the stomach.

 

 

 

Swallowing videos

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Normal swallow

Dysphagia Normal Swallow video

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Oral dysphagia

Oral dysphagia video

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Pharyngeal dysphagia

Pharyngeal dysphagia video

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Oesophageal dysphagia

Oesophageal dysphagia video

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Who can help?

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Speech and language therapists

Speech and language therapists are trained to assess and treat an individual’s ability to swallow. They will advise on the consistency required, food and drinks that are suitable, the best sitting position to make swallowing easier, and certain techniques to aid swallowing.

 

Dietitians

Dietitians are experts in nutrition and can advise on a well-balanced diet ensuring the person maintains a good nutritional intake.

 

t&e_canWhat can help?

Thick & Easy™ makes it possible for you to enjoy a safe, varied and nutritious diet. If your speech and language therapist recommends a change in the consistencies of food and liquid, it is very important to carefully follow their recommendations. Your speech and language therapist may recommend that food be pureed to create pudding-like consistency. Without a thickening agent, the food pulp and the liquid separate in the pureeing process. For example, if fruits are pureed and allowed to sit at room temperature the juice separates. In addition, puréed foods may appear unappetising. This is often discouraging for the person with dysphagia. It does nothing to enhance the mealtime experience, or even to provide an incentive for the patient to try to develop a rehabilitated swallow.

 

 

 

 

Downloads

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Browse and download our range of FREE factsheets and handy hints.

Thick & Easy™ the market leading instant food thickener

Thick & Easy™ is now better than ever. This leaflet gives a complete overview of the complete Thick & Easy™ range.

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Thick & Easy™ hot and cold liquids

This leaflet contains information on how to mix Thick & Easy™ into both hot & cold liquids using a whisk or fork.

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Thick & Easy™ puréeing food

Most foods can be liquidised or puréed so a smooth consistency is reached. This leaflet contains information on how to enhance the appearance of meals.

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Achieve a safe consistency with the new Thick & Easy™ shaker

This leaflet outlines the benefit of using the new Thick & Easy™ shaker which offers a convenient way to mix Thick & Easy™ and helps achieve a safe consistency every time.

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Thick & Easy™ soaking solution

A soaking solution is a liquid (e.g. water and juice) which is made up and poured over food such as biscuits, crackers, bread and breakfast cereal to alter the consistency without puréeing. This leaflet explains how to use Thick & Easy™ soaking solution.

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Living with dysphagia

A patient guide. A complete overview explaining all aspects of dysphagia.

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Thick & Easy™ recipes

For great ideas on what you can do we have produced a recipe guide which you can download.

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