Broward Health Imperial Point
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A Comprehensive Approach to Improving Swallowing and Quality of Life

What is Dysphagia?

Dysphagia is the term used to describe "difficulty swallowing." We take eating and drinking for granted until we or someone we know has difficulty. Eating and drinking are uniquely tied to socialization with others and often are combined with a deep cultural and symbolic association. The inability to swallow normally can have a devastating impact on quality of life.

How many people have Dysphagia?

One out of 17 people have difficulty swallowing with an estimated 10 million Americans suffering from this disorder.

Two-thirds of oral and throat cancer survivors will also have dysphagia. If dysphagia is not treated it can lead to some very serious healthcare consequences.

The good news is that with highly specialized and targeted therapeutic interventions this does not have to be a permanent condition.

The Dysphagia Program at Broward Health Imperial Point

Our program is uniquely designed to incorporate state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment with integrative healing. Our holistic approach combines the best of western and eastern medicine through an interdisciplinary team dedicated to restoring swallow function.

Treatments include, but are not limited to, electrical stimulation, myofascial release, soft tissue manipulation, manual therapy, electrotherapeutic point stimulation, range of motion and stretching exercises.

If you or someone you know has dysphagia, contact your physician and ask for a video swallow function test. This diagnostic test utilizes a moving x-ray to view inside your throat while you are eating and drinking. This exam only takes a few minutes and allows us to determine the exact cause of your problem with swallowing. This test will also establish if you are a candidate for our dysphagia program.

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Signs and symptoms of Dysphagia
  • A need to wash down food with a lot of liquid on a daily basis
  • Food getting stuck once a week or more
  • A feeling that food or liquid is going down the wrong windpipe
  • Feeling feverish after a meal
  • "Wet" or gurgly sound in your voice, especially during or after eating or drinking
  • Frequent throat clearing during a meal
  • Coughing or choking during mealtime
  • Coughing or choking on saliva
  • Increased effort or time to complete a meal
  • Difficulty eating normally
  • Difficulty drinking normally
  • Shortness of breath when eating or after eating
  • Changing the types of food or liquid consumed because it's easier to eat or drink
  • Frequent respiratory infections, chronic or pneumonia
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Please contact your doctor if you have any of these signs.