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Swallow Therapy

  • Linda M. Rowe
  • Michelle R. CiucciEmail author
Chapter
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Abstract

The larynx is a complex organ that directly participates in many automatic and skilled tasks, such as breathing, coughing, Valsalva, voicing, and swallowing. This requires integrating autonomic and somatic afferent and efferent information to perform these behaviors while serving general homeostasis. During swallowing, the larynx acts as the primary protection to the airway by closing and elevating during the pharyngeal swallow. This swallow apnea is highly coordinated with breathing and is crucial for safe swallowing. Many diseases, disorders, and conditions, especially neurologic in origin, can compromise timely airway protection and result in dysphagia. As such, it is crucial that the clinician has the appropriate background on anatomy and physiology as it pertains to swallowing and related behaviors and a deep understanding of how neurologic conditions may cause dysphagia. Hypothesis-driven evaluation almost always includes instrumented evaluation and leads to grounded, evidence-based treatment plans. Interdisciplinary management is paramount to patient outcomes. Treatment often includes a combination of compensatory strategies, diet modification, exercises, behavioral techniques, surgical intervention, patient goals, and quality of life considerations.

Keywords

Swallowing Dysphagia Evaluation Treatment 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Otolaryngology, Department of SurgeryUniversity of Wisconsin–MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Division of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, Department of Communication Sciences and DisordersUniversity of Wisconsin–MadisonMadisonUSA

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