Eating, Drinking and Swallowing Benefits

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What to expect

Eating, Drinking and Swallowing Benefits

Speech and language therapy helps to improve an individual's eating, drinking and swallowing ability. When working with individuals who have eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties our speech and language therapists will work on improving their swallow and also in helping them to eat and drink as safely as possible.

What is an eating, drinking and swallowing difficulty?

Eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties occur when an individual cannot pass food or drink safely from their mouth to their stomach. An eating, drinking and swallowing difficulty is also termed dysphagia.

How can an eating, drinking and swallowing difficulty impact on an individual's life?

Individuals with eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties may have difficulty in eating and drinking solids or liquids (or a combination of both). Eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties can range from mild to severe and affect individuals in different ways. In more severe cases an individual may not be able to eat or drink at all, and may have to have an alternative method of feeding to meet their nutritional requirements. Eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties can have a dramatic impact on an individual's life. Eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties can have a physical impact on the patient's health e.g. weight loss and chest infections. Eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties may also lead to emotional problems such as depression, lack of enjoyment when eating and drinking and also avoiding social situations where they may have to eat or drink. The impacts of an eating, drinking and swallowing difficulty will vary for each individual and will be dependent on a number of factors.

How can speech and language therapy improve eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties?

For individuals with eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties the speech and language therapist will work on improving the individuals eating, drinking and swallowing ability in a variety of ways. The speech and language therapist will improve eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties through:

  • Compensatory strategies
  • Eating, drinking and swallowing management
  • Advice and education

What are the benefits of improving eating, drinking and swallowing?

Speech and language therapy can have many benefits for individuals with eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties. The main benefit of speech and language therapy is maximising the individual's ability to eat and drink independently and safely. Other benefits include:

  • Health benefits e.g. reducing the risk of aspiration, maintaining a healthy weight and meeting nutritional needs.
  • Increasing self-esteem and confidence when eating and drinking.
  • Increasing the individual's opportunity to participate in social meals.
  • Improving the individual's quality of life.
  • Advice and support for carers and other professionals involved in their care.

Our speech and language therapists work with both children and adults with eating, drinking and swallowing problems and will aim to improve their swallowing function.

How do I book an appointment with a speech and language therapist?

If you would like any more information on any of our speech and language therapy services, or would like to book an appointment with one of our speech and language therapists then please contact us on 0330 0885 643.


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To speak to a Speech and Language Therapist or to book an appointment, call us on 0161 883 0111 or email office@slt.co.uk

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All our speech and language therapists are registered with the RCSLT and the HCPC

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