Catholic Health Dysphagia Choking

Dysphagia is difficulty swallowing.

This condition may interfere with eating, the enjoyment of food, and breathing. It can cause aspiration, when food or liquid enter the airway instead of the esophagus. Pneumonia or serious chronic lung disease can occur if a swallowing dysfunction is not addressed.


  • Coughing during or right after eating or drinking
  • Wet or gurgling sound of voice after eating or drinking
  • Extra effort or time needed to chew or swallow
  • Drooling or food getting stuck in the mouth
  • Recurring pneumonias
  • Weight loss from poor nutrition, dehydration

How We Can Help

With speech therapy we can:

  • Strengthen the muscles involved in swallowing
  • Teach you how to modify your diet
  • Teach you postures, behaviors and mouth movements that will help you to swallow

All Catholic Health speech-language pathologists are certified in the use of VitalStimĀ® for the treatment of dysphagia.