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Deciphering Dysphagia

Byline: Tiffany Turner, MS, CCC-SLP, Owner, Swallowing and Neurological Rehabilitation, www.tulsasnr.com. Tiffany founded a dysphagia focused outpatient center in 2014 to serve the northeastern Oklahoma region and fill a gap in her community, as she feels adult speech pathology services are often misunderstood and underutilized. She is also an author and publishes resources for other SLPs to use with their patients which have been downloaded by over 2,000 speech-language pathologists worldwide.


Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, affects up to 15 million adults in the United States. According to past publications, 1 in 25 people will experience some form of dysphagia in their lifetime, including 22% of those age 50 and older (ASHA, 2008; Bhattacharyya, 2014). People at the greatest risk for swallowing impairments include individuals who have had strokes, those with neurological conditions (such Parkinson’s disease), survivors of head and neck cancer, and the elderly. Despite the significant prevalence of dysphagia, this medical condition is often neglected, and many sufferers are never properly diagnosed or treated.

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Spread the Word, Save A Life

Click Here to Save a Life

The button above will take you to the NIDCD website where you can provide a brief comment on how a swallowing disorder affects you, someone close to you, or the people you support in your clinic and/or research. Deadline to respond is 9/30/16.

Please use the words “swallowing disorder” or “dysphagia” in your comment.

NIDCD Request for Comment Background (Summary) 

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recently released their draft of the NIDCD Strategic Plan for years 2017-2021. The goals in the draft are based on an assessment of research areas that present the greatest scientific opportunities and that address the greatest public health needs over the next five years for hearing and balance; taste and smell; and voice, speech and language. A recent NIH Reporter search of current fiscal year funding of grants that listed both swallowing and dysphagia in their descriptions identified 77 grants, 22 of which were supported by the NIDCD; that is 28.6%. Because many other NIH Institutes and Centers look to the NIDCD as being the primary source for dysphagia funding, if the NIDCD chooses to exclude dysphagia from its program priorities and explicitly from its 2017 – 2021 strategic plan, support for dysphagia research may see a substantial decrease. This would likely create a larger gap in funding for a condition that is already under-funded. continue reading →



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New Webinar! Electrical Stimulation in Dysphagia Treatment

The National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders, with support from Cook Medical, is proud to present the second series of patient-centered webinars on the latest research and information on swallowing disorders. Experts in the field of swallowing disorders will present information on topics such as esophageal dilation, lymphedema, tracheotomies, and more! If you are a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) or know someone with a swallowing disorder, please share this web page with them.

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Treating Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Background

Gastroesophageal reflux is the backflow of acid from the stomach into the esophagus. This occurs when there is a relaxation of the valve that connects the stomach and the esophagus, which is called the lower esophageal sphincter. When reflux occurs, it can sometimes cause inflammation of or damage to the esophagus lining, which is referred to as esophagitis or erosive esophagitis. For some people, reflux can lead to a diagnosis of Barrett’s esophagus. Barrett’s esophagus is when the lining of the esophagus changes to look like the lining of the stomach, which can lead to cancer in a small number of patients, but for most patients, reflux is not this severe. Reflux is, however, the leading cause of solid food dysphagia.

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Webinar Recording: Gaining Greater Body Image when Living with Dysphagia

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE RECORDING

Originally Broadcast Live on August 3, 2016

Presentation Description: Dr. Fingeret’s talk with explore the concept of body image as it relates to dysphagia, reviewing the manner in which functional changes to swallowing and speech impact perceptions, thoughts and feelings about one’s body. She will review some research she has conducted in this area and offer practical tips and strategies for improving body image awareness and acceptance. She will also share insights from her experience as a NFOSD Swallowing Support Group leader and ways that support groups enhance coping for patients as they struggle with body image changes. continue reading →