Swallowing difficulties condition can be life-threatening - Trust

Sharon Mullarkey, Community Dental Team; Joanne Mullan, Macmillan Specialist Palliative Speech and Language Therapist; Christine Harper, Speech and Language Therapist and Clodagh Hastings, Assistant Services Manager supporting the Swallowing Awareness Day Campaign.
Sharon Mullarkey, Community Dental Team; Joanne Mullan, Macmillan Specialist Palliative Speech and Language Therapist; Christine Harper, Speech and Language Therapist and Clodagh Hastings, Assistant Services Manager supporting the Swallowing Awareness Day Campaign.

The Western Trust has advised local people of the symptoms of dysphagia (swallowing difficulties) which can have life-threatening consequences.

Tanya Cuddy, Western Trust Team Leader, Adult Speech and Language Therapy Services said: “Dysphagia describes eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties in infants, children and adults. It affects 95 per cent of people with Motor Neurone Disease, 80 per cent of people with Parkinson’s disease, 68 per cent of people with Dementia in care homes as well as adults and children with learning disabilities and up to 40 per cent of infants who are born prematurely.”

Common symptoms of dysphagia to look out for include coughing or choking when eating or drinking, recurrent chest infections or difficulty chewing food and Western Trust Speech and Language Therapists offer a range of supports.

For more information contact Tanya on 028 8283 3136 or email: tanya.cuddy@westerntrust.hscni.net