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How To Enjoy Mealtimes With Dysphagia: 6 Useful Tips

Dysphagia is tricky to pen down because it’s not a medical condition in itself. Rather, it’s the name given to any condition, regardless of the scope, which causes swallowing issues. Having dysphagia can make mealtimes feel like a chore, and it can lead to choking in the worst cases. Fortunately, with the help of thickening solutions, keeping calm, and eating the correct food, enjoyment can be yours once more. 

Keep Everything Calm

Losing the ability to swallow will most likely be scary and leave you feeling overwhelmed. Depending on the severity, it may have a detrimental impact on your life, especially when it comes to eating in front of other people. To avoid unnecessary choking and negative thoughts, it’s essential to eat in a calm environment. For example, if you must eat out, consider avoiding peak hours. For further information on this, check out this insightful article

Consider Thickening Solutions

Depending on the severity of your dysphagia, you may find it difficult to drink water and other liquids. Luckily, there’s a simple solution that will thicken up your liquids, which will help to avoid choking. When you’re searching for a thickening agent, you’ll need to find a reputable brand, such as SimplyThick, LLC. Once you’ve sourced a decent thickener, all you need to do is add the recommended amount, stir, and enjoy. 

Choose Correct Foods

If you have an underlying condition that causes dysphagia, you won’t have the luxury of choosing which foods you eat, but this doesn’t mean you won’t find enjoyment during mealtimes. To make life easier and avoid unnecessary choking hazards, you’ll need to put some time into learning what foods make up a dysphagia-friendly diet. Typically, you’ll be indulging in smooth puddings, mashed vegetables, and various soufflés. 

Use the Correct Eating Positions

Swallowing issues are only part of the problem with dysphagia; it can also bring on acid reflux. Luckily, there are ways to reduce the chances of experiencing reflux by eating in the correct position. Essentially, this means keeping an upright posture and tilting your head slightly and chin forward. 

Engage In Jaw-Related Exercises

Dysphagia happens when the jaw muscles become weak. This is good news because the muscles can be worked to improve strength. To help with this, there are a series of exercises for you to engage in. Typically, try and complete these just before mealtimes, but whenever you have a spare minute will suffice. The exercises are designed to be simple – you can find further information and directions here

Slow Down

If you’re used to eating fast, you’ll need to slow everything down to avoid further troubles. Naturally, this will be impractical if you’re eating with other people, and you may feel pressured to speed up. Therefore, you will need to plan your time effectively and start eating with plenty of time to finish. 

Dysphagia won’t be a pleasant experience. However, by taking on the advice outlined above, you’ll find mealtimes far less challenging.

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