Feeding and swallowing is a process that is required for survival. Yet sometimes due to a person’s anatomy or physiology of the swallowing muscles, children or adults can have difficulty with this innate process. Difficulty with swallowing is referred to as dysphagia. Dysphagia can occur in children or adults due to birth defects, diseases, strokes, or other neurological conditions. Feeding disorders can occur due to a person’s sensory or motor system, food preferences, or learned behaviors. Swallowing disorders can be dangerous if left untreated because it can lead to ingestion of food or drinks into the lungs, known as aspiration. Recurrent aspiration episodes can cause pneumonia and damage a person’s lungs. Feeding and swallowing disorders can be treated separately or as a dual process.
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