can change many of the muscles used for speech, chewing, and swallowing. Changes in these muscles may cause:
Weight loss and nutrition problems.
Fatigue during eating.
Food "sticking" in the throat.
Coughing or choking on food or liquids.
Trouble swallowing saliva, which causes drooling.
Trouble swallowing pills.
But there are things you can do to help reduce eating and drooling problems. A speech-language pathologist(also called a speech therapist) can teach you exercises and show you other ways to help with eating, swallowing, and drooling.
You can reduce eating problems by changing how and what you eat.
Sit upright when eating, drinking, and taking pills.
Take small bites of food, chew completely, and swallow before taking another bite.
Take small sips of liquid, and hold them in your mouth as you prepare to swallow.
If eating is tiring, divide food into smaller but more frequent meals.
Thicker drinks make swallowing easier. Try milk shakes or juices in gelatin form.
Eat moist, soft foods. Use a blender to prepare food for easier chewing.
Avoid foods such as crackers or cakes that crumble easily. These can cause choking.
If you cough or choke, lean forward and keep your chin tipped downward while you cough.
To reduce drooling:
Keep your chin up and your lips closed when you aren't speaking or eating.
Swallow often, especially before you start to speak.
Ask a speech therapist about exercises to strengthen lip muscles.
Avoid sugary foods that cause more saliva to develop.
Ask your doctor about medicines you can use to help the problem.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerG. Frederick Wooten Jr., MD - Neurology
Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Group Universal Life (GUL) insurance plans are insured by CGLIC. Life (other than GUL), accident, critical illness, hospital indemnity, and disability plans are insured or administered by Life Insurance Company of North America, except in NY, where insured plans are offered by Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York (New York, NY). All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.
Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details