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One of the most serious health risks to patients who have difficulty swallowing is that of developing aspiration pneumonia. “Aspiration” is the medical term for when food or liquids go into the wind pipe (trachea) and then into the lungs when swallowing. Repeated aspiration can eventually lead to pneumonia. Of course the best way to reduce the risk of aspiration pneumonia is ...

Almost every patient I see for swallowing therapy has a history of “reflux”.  The term reflux means “backflow” and describes the cause of the symptom of heartburn. But there is more to reflux than just heartburn. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is when reflux from the stomach leaks backward to the esophagus (food tube from the lower throat to the stomach).   Laryngophar ...

Patients who have had treatment for head and neck cancer are one of the most challenging populations that we dysphagia clinicians work with in therapy. One of the obstacles to helping this population is getting beyond the significant fibrotic tissue that can develop after the radiation treatment.  But there is new hope for treating this condition. Before I dive into the good news (and there is good news, so keep reading), here’s some background about the challenge.

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