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What do those with a swallowing disorder fear?

Updated 9/15/2014 – We closed this survey today after collecting 180 responses in the past 3 weeks. We’re analyzing the results and hope to publish them in an upcoming article. Email us at info@nfosd.com with any questions. 

A member of our community asked. We didn’t have an answer; so, we’d like your help in developing some insight and a response to the question on what patients with a swallowing disorder fear. Click here to go directly to the for survey.

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Oral Motor Exercises: Do They Work?

Oral exercise image[Editor’s Note:  This article is written in response to a great question from one of our dysphagia community members asking if there is evidence to support the claim that oral motor exercises strengthen the swallow function, noting that she was unable to find peer-reviewed research articles on this topic.]

If you suffer from dysphagia, there’s a chance that you’ve been recommended to perform “oral motor exercises,” which is essentially physical therapy for your muscles involved in swallowing, especially the tongue.  These exercises are often recommended to patients with a variety of dysphagia etiologies, including head and neck cancers, those who have suffered a stroke, and even patients with Parkinson’s disease.  There is about a dozen different oral motor exercises that speech-language pathologists and physicians will sometimes recommend to their patients.  For a list of these exercises, click here.  Please keep in mind that these exercises should be performed only under the recommendation and direct guidance of your healthcare professional.

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NFOSD reaches out to University Speech-Language Pathology programs

Byline: Katie Winters, 2nd year Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) graduate program student

Over the past year, the National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders (NFOSD) has introduced an initiative to engage university professors and clinical instructors as a means of enhancing education and increasing awareness of the effects of swallowing disorders on patients, family members, and professionals.

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Solutions for Saliva Management

For those who are unable to swallow their own saliva, the struggle of saliva management is all too real.  In a recent article, published by the Oley Foundation in their May-June 2014 Newsletter, two men who are unable to swallow share their stories on how they manage their saliva.

One method used by Rob Frayne involves a wearing a specialized vest designed by Edwina Sutherland.  The specialized vest includes a bottle-holder that is sewn at such a height that removing the bottle in order to spit is not necessary.

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A New, Free Online Course– “Swallowing Difficulties and Medicine”

Byline: Elizabeth Lipton

[Editor’s Note: The NFOSD is publishing this article as its purpose supports two of our most important principles: raising awareness of swallowing disorders and enhancing direct patient support. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are all the rage with Harvard, MIT, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown and others making their most valuable intellectual property assets available for free to anyone worldwide with a computer, Internet access, and a desire to learn. They include videos, discussion forums, student postings, short quizzes, and much more. This course, taught at a University in the UK, is outstanding and fills a much needed void in our advocacy for improving the lives of all those with a swallowing disorder. NFOSD would like to applaud and thank the creators of this material. ]

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