Individuals with MS can experience weakness in muscles that are involved with breathing and coughing. A weak respiratory system can impair an individual’s ability to clear food or drink and protect his/her airway.
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the following changes, it may be time to talk to your physician about getting a referral to see a speech-language pathologist.
- Coughing, choking or throat clearing before, during or after swallowing
- Needing several shallow coughs in order to clear food/drink
- Difficulty controlling food, liquids or saliva in the mouth
- Food getting stuck in your cheeks, either one side or both sides
- Excessive chewing
- Change in vocal quality after eating/drinking; “wet” or “gurgly” voice
- Complaint of difficulty swallowing
- Complaint of food “sticking” in throat
- Nasal regurgitation
- Weight loss