Survivors of traumatic brain injury often experience motor-related problems. Depending upon where the injury occurred, those problems can include difficulty swallowing. While most of us don’t think about swallowing—for most of the population it seems like an easy, natural thing to do—swallowing is actually a very complex act that requires the coordinated use of many muscles.
Identifying Causes Behind Difficulty Swallowing
In order to determine the exact reasons for the difficulty swallowing, the medical team will most likely recommend a fluoroscopic swallow study. This is basically a “moving x-ray” of the swallowing process, which shows how food and drink move through the mouth and into the esophagus during chewing and swallowing.
Treatment of Difficulty Swallowing
Overcoming difficulty swallowing is imperative for any brain injury survivor who wishes to eat without a feeding tube. Once it is determined exactly where the issues lie, a speech pathologist will come up with a plan to overcome the problem.