Aspiration pneumonia is often caused by a swallowing problem. It is the leading cause of death for people with Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease, and one of the leading causes of death for many other populations, such as stroke, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, head and neck cancer, and muscular sclerosis. When it is caught early, dysphagia (swallowing disorders) may be able to be corrected with simple exercises in therapy with a speech language pathologist.
Many people do not realize they have a swallowing disorder until they become very ill with pneumonia which can be caused by aspiration of foods or liquids into the lungs. Even then, some people still do not find out what is causing the bronchitis or pneumonia, until they have had it multiple times and it has become a very serious problem.
We use the ISO Swallowing Exercise Device, oral motor exercises, and pharyngeal exercises to improve the strength, range of motion, and coordination of the muscles involved in the swallowing process.