The best first step, if you think you or a loved one are experiencing issues related to dysphagia, would be to report some of those signs and symptoms to your primary care physician or the geriatrician that you’re working with, who can help get you connected with a speech-language pathologist.
We would do an evaluation that involves imaging the mouth and throat so that we can see what’s actually happening while you swallow. First, we’ll ask you some questions. We’ll try to get some medical history. We’ll try to understand what we’re observing from talking and working with you. Then, we want to actually be able to see what’s happening inside your body while you swallow. The medical term for that evaluation is the videofluoroscopic swallow study or the modified barium swallow. From there, we can recommend treatment that we think is going to be most effective. That’s going to be the best way to get connected with the right professional.