Speech therapists regularly develop and train clients in swallow exercises to help treat swallow difficulty caused by muscle weakness or dysfunction. Like any exercise program, the best results occur when the exercises are done regularly and repeatedly over time. Research has shown that for many patients with swallowing difficulty (dysphagia) caused by a medical condition such as a stroke, completing swallow exercises improves both oral swallowing ability and quality of life ratings.
Current technology offers several swallowing-related apps that people may find helpful during dysphagia treatment. For many people, one of the biggest barriers to completing their exercises is remembering to fit them in during their busy day. For others, having a picture of the exercise or the swallow anatomy targeted may be motivating.
The following are several popular swallowing apps that may help keep your swallowing exercises on track:
- Swallow ID and Dysphagia explain and educate about normal and disordered swallowing, including the swallow anatomy.
- SmallTalk Oral Motor Exercises offers a variety of lip, tongue and cheek exercises with video demonstrations.
- iSwallow is an app personalized by your swallow therapist to track your daily exercise completion.
- Swallow Prompt and Swallow Now help manage excess saliva by prompting you to swallow regularly.
- Life Reminder and Alarmed can be used to set reminders/alarms for exercise time, as well as medications and other appointments.
If you are having swallowing difficulties or have an old swallowing exercise program that you are interested in updating, please contact your physician for a referral for a swallow assessment.
Comprehensive swallowing evaluations and individualized outpatient speech/swallow therapy services are available at our Fond du Lac, Ripon and Waupun hospital facilities.