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Swallowing difficulties is also known as “dysphagia”. Dysphagia is usually caused by another health condition, such as a condition that affects the nervous system, and can sometimes lead to other health complications. Difficulties with eating drinking and swallowing can have a big impact on daily life for you and those around you.

If you feel that things ‘go down the wrong way’ when you eat or drink you may have a difficulty with swallowing. Warning signs include the following:

  • a wet, gurgly voice while eating or drinking
  • coughing while eating or drinking
  • difficulty breathing – breathing may be rapid and shallow

We can often help by finding ways to eat and drink more easily.

You can refer yourself or ask any member of your health care team to refer. We will usually talk with you first, we may watch you eat and drink, and sometimes we will use specialist assessments. 

We offer assessments of swallowing as part of your inpatient stay in any one of the health boards general and community hospitals. We also offer assessments in your own home, nursing homes, residential homes, outpatient clinics and virtual clinics.

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