Swallowing problems are very common after a stroke. Almost half of people who have a stroke will have some difficulties in the first few weeks.
Why do they happen?
How do you know if you have swallowing problems?
- coughing when you’re eating or drinking
- food or drink going down the wrong way
- feeling that food is stuck in your throat
- still having food or drink left in your mouth after you’ve swallowed
- not being able to chew food properly
- a croaky or ‘wet’ sounding voice
- taking a long time to swallow or finish a meal
- having to swallow a lot to clear your throat.
Does it get better?
Are there treatments that can help?
- thickening your drinks with special powders to make them easier to swallow
- eating soft food, like mashed potato, or pureed food, which is very smooth, like custard
- changing the temperature of foods and drinks, as hot things are more difficult to swallow
- change how and when you eat, such as eating small amounts throughout the day, rather than three big meals.
Find out more
Read more, including practical tips to help you and your family and information about tube feeding, in our leaflet Dealing with swallowing problems.
Or for more detailed information, download our Complete guide to swallowing problems after stroke.