Feeding and swallowing disorders | Rehabilitation services | Salem Health
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Feeding and swallowing disorders

If left unaddressed, feeding and swallowing issues can have serious effects on the health and quality of life of people of all ages. In children, these issues can lead to challenges in nutrition and hydration and ultimately impact a child’s overall development. In adults, they can often lead to aspiration pneumonia, chronic cough, malnutrition and dehydration.

The good news is that the Salem Health Rehabilitation Center’s feeding and swallowing program can help.

Our speech and occupational therapists take a unique collaborative approach working closely with specialists in related fields including diet and nutrition, nursing, medicine (otolaryngologists, pulmonologists and gastroenterologists), and mental health.

We treat people who feel anxiety related to eating, chewing, and swallowing, as well as people who have food aversions, swallowing difficulties, delayed or declining oral motor skills, resistance to food textures, or difficulty transitioning from a G-tube to oral feeding.

Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Low body weight (poor weight gain in young children)
  • Problems with chewing and swallowing
  • Choking, gagging or vomiting
  • Behavioral issues at mealtime or involving food
  • Drooling
  • Persistent cough, especially when swallowing
  • Limited intake of fluids
  • Little interest in food

If you or a loved one is having these symptoms, talk to your primary care doctor about a referral to the Salem Health Rehabilitation Center at your next visit.