Ensuring Safe Eating and Drinking: Identifying and Managing Aspiration with Feeding and Swallowing Therapy 

Ensuring Safe Eating and Drinking: Identifying and Managing Aspiration with Feeding and Swallowing Therapy 

Aspiration during eating and drinking poses significant risks, often stemming from deficiencies in oral motor or myofascial functions. Despite its prevalence, aspiration is frequently underdiagnosed, highlighting the critical need for proactive management strategies. 

Recognizing aspiration involves identifying symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, or breathing difficulties during or after meals, affecting individuals across age groups, including infants, toddlers, and adults. 

To address aspiration comprehensively, seeking guidance from feeding and swallowing therapists is paramount. These professionals employ various assessments, including swallow studies like the Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES), to evaluate swallowing function and identify underlying issues. FEES involves passing a thin, flexible endoscope through the nose to assess swallowing dynamics in real-time and provide immediate feedback regarding an individual’s conditions. 

Therapeutic interventions focus on strengthening swallowing muscles, modifying food textures, and enhancing oral motor skills. Preventative measures encompass maintaining proper posture during meals and minimizing distractions. 

Failing to address deficiencies that cause aspiration can severely impact an individuals’ health and well-being and increases the risk of recurrent respiratory infections, lung damage, inflammation, scarring, nutritional deficiencies, and weight loss due to difficulties with eating and drinking. Addressing deficiencies that contribute to aspiration is essential to mitigate these potential consequences and improve the safety and well-being of affected individuals. 

Consulting with a feeding and swallowing therapist ensures tailored strategies for managing aspiration, fostering safe and enjoyable mealtimes. Prioritize safety and well-being by staying informed and proactive in addressing aspiration concerns. 

Safeguard your loved ones from aspiration risks – prioritize prevention services with Feeding Friends Therapy Solutions at 314-254-2188 or support@myfeedingfriends.com to find out more ways we can help support your family’s prioritized care. Your proactive approach can pave the way for a brighter, healthier future for you and your loved ones. 

Attea Costanzo, MS,CCC-SLP

Owner/Director of Therapy
Feeding Friends Therapy Solutions
Saint Louis, MO

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