...What emergency interventions should be followed? Does chewing food a lot help food go down easily? Does drinking lots of liquids with a meal help? Any particular type of liquid?
Swallowing problems come from both oropharyngeal muscle weakness and abnormal motility of the esophagus. The patient should be evaluated by a speech pathologist and a gastroenterologist with fibroscopic and manometric testing. If patients are not able to do these studies, the modified barium swallow test should be done to assess the risk for aspiration. The speech therapist should be able to give useful advice to alleviate the problem. If the problem imposes high aspiration risks, G tube insertion should be considered. Chewing, drinking fluids, and pureed foods may help. If aspiration occurs, or may have occurred and fever starts, go to an emergency center for treatment.