Rush-Copley Provides Advanced Medicine with Extraordinary Care We’re the only Level III NICU in Kane County, the only certified Joint Replacement Program in the Fox Valley, certified by The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center, and Rush-Copley is Fox Valley’s Preferred Heart Facility. We treat over 70,000 patients in our Emergency Department, and the Family Birth Center was first in the nation to receive Joint Commission certification for Normal Delivery and Respiratory Distress Syndrome in the Preterm Infant. Meet Rush-Copley.
Dysphagia - self-care
What to expect at home
Some people have a hard time swallowing foods or liquids. This is called dysphagia.
Symptoms of swallowing problems include:
Coughing or choking, either during or after eating
Gurgling sounds from the throat, during or after eating
Throat clearing after drinking or swallowing
Slow chewing or eating
Coughing food back up after eating
Hiccups after swallowing
Chest discomfort during or after swallowing
Unexplained weight loss
Symptoms may be mild or severe.
Most people with dysphagia should be checked by a health care provider. But these general tips may help.
Keep mealtime relaxed.
Sit up as straight as possible when you eat.
Take small bites, less than 1 teaspoon of food per bite.
Chew well and swallow your food before taking another bite.
If one side of your face or mouth is weaker, chew food on the stronger side of your mouth.
Do not mix solid foods with liquids in the same bite.
Do not try to wash down solids with sips of liquids, unless your speech or swallowing therapist says this is OK.
Do not talk and swallow at the same time.
Sit upright for 30 to 45 minutes after eating.
Do not drink thin liquids without checking with your doctor or therapist first.
You may need someone to remind you to finish swallowing. It may also help to ask caregivers and family members not to talk to you when you are eating or drinking.
When to call the doctor
Call your doctor if:
You cough or have fever or shortness of breath
You are losing weight
Your swallowing problems are getting worse
Kahrilas PJ, Pandolfino JE. Esophageal neuromuscular function and motility disorders. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 42.
Jenifer K. Lehrer, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Frankford-Torresdale Hospital, Aria Health System, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.