Speech Therapy - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Speech Therapy

Our Mission Statement
People are our priority. We help them achieve their best through personalized care and clinical excellence.

Language is essential to our daily living, learning, working, and enjoying life. Agape speech therapists (also known as speech-language pathologists) teach patients how to express themselves through language in different ways, including: speech, sign language, writing, and computerized communication devices.

A significant area of expertise for speech therapists is the treatment of swallowing disorders(also called dysphagia). Problems in this area stem from three key phases:
  • oral -- sucking, chewing, and moving food
       or liquid into the throat
  • pharyngeal -- swallowing reflex, squeezing food
       down the throat, and closing off the airway to prevent
       food or liquid from entering the airway (aspiration)
       or to prevent choking
  • esophageal phase-- relaxing and tightening the openings
       at the top and bottom of the feeding tube in the throat
       (esophagus) and squeezing food through the
       esophagus into the stomach
Swallowing problems in adults can be triggered by:
  • Stroke
  • Brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Parkinson' s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease)
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Alzheimer's disease

Problems affecting the head and neck, including:

  • Cancer in the mouth, throat, or esophagus
  • Injury or surgery involving the head and neck
  • Decayed or missing teeth, or poorly fitting dentures
Many other diseases, conditions, or surgical interventions can result in swallowing problems. General signs may include:
  • coughing during or right after eating or drinking
  • wet or gurgly sounding voice during or after eating or drinking
  • extra effort or time needed to chew or swallow
  • food or liquid leaking from the mouth or getting stuck in the mouth
  • recurring pneumonia or chest congestion after eating
  • weight loss or dehydration from not being able to eat enough
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