Difficulty swallowing or dysphagia is a symptom that can be largely overcome or controlled by an appropriate treatment.

How to treat Oropharyngeal Dysphagia?

Proper maintenance of the patient's nutritional and hydration status is key to being able to successfully tackle dysphagia.

Healthcare professionals mainly prescribe or recommend the following strategies for managing oropharyngeal dysphagia:

  1. Modify the consistency and texture of food and drinks.
  2. Take food and liquids in small amounts so that it is easier to swallow.
  3. Adapt utensils (for example, use small spoons) to facilitate ingestion.
  4. Perform lip, tongue and cheek exercises to better prepare for swallowing food.
  5. Use techniques that help stimulate the muscles and nerves of the mouth to protect the patient from aspirations.
  6. Change posture at mealtime to promote swallowing: sit up straight.
  7. Administer enteral nutrition through specific formulas to prevent malnutrition.
  8. Botulinum toxin injections.
  9. Electrostimulation.
  10. Surgery.

Who determines the treatment to follow?

A healthcare professional will decide which of these treatment strategies should be used, depending on the needs of each person, such as:
  1. Type and severity of dysphagia
  2. Risk of aspiration
  3. Nutritional status
  4. Cognitive level to understand and follow orders
  5. Availability of help from a family member or caregiver
  6. Culinary knowledge
  7. Etc.
Dysphagia_Central Treatment
Consult a specialist if any signs of swallowing disorder arises in order to obtain adequate treatment and prevent serious complications related with dysphagia.


Understanding which foods can be consumed and its appropriate consistency is essential for maintaining proper nutritional status in patients with dysphagia.

Recommended bibliography:
  • Clavé Civit P, García Peris P. Guide to diagnosis and nutritional and rehabilitative treatment of oropharyngeal dysphagia. Ed. Glosa, 2011
  • Nila Ilhamto. In-House Pureed Food Production in Long-Term Care: Perspectives of Dietary Staff and Implications for Improvement. J Nutr Gerontol Geriatr. 2014; 33 (3): 210-28.
  • Rocamora JAI et al. The modified texture menu; nutritional value, digestibility and contribution within the menu of hospitals and nursing homes. Nutr Hosp 2014; 29 (4): 873–879
  • Velasco C, et al. Food technology and evolution in modified texture foods; from crushed or dehydrated to current products. Nutr Hosp 2014; 29 (3): 465–469