Dysphagia and Stroke
Dysphagia is the term used to describe a difficulty with swallowing foods and liquids. Dysphagia may occur when a disease or its treatment affects the muscles, nerves or structures needed to swallow. A significant proportion of stroke patients experience dysphagia. It can also be associated with conditions like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Dysphagia can impact a person's ability to consume adequate nutrition for a number of reasons, including the time taken to eat meals, self-restriction due fear of choking, loss of enjoyment and the social aspect of eating, and a dislike for texture modified food and fluids. As a result of these nutritional challenges, people who experience dysphagia can find it hard to get the nutrition they need, and malnutrition and dehydration can occur. Learn more about how to support patients with dysphagia achieve better nutritional intake below.