Skip navigation

Swallowing problems

Swallowing problems

General tips to help with swallowing problems:

  • Sit up as straight as possible when you eat.
  • Take small bites, less than 1 teaspoon of food per bite.
  • Chew well and swallow your food before taking another bite.
  • If one side of your face or mouth is weaker, chew food on the stronger side of your mouth.
  • Do not mix solid foods with liquids in the same bite.
  • Keep mealtime relaxed.
  • Do not try to wash down solids with sips of liquids, unless your therapist told you to eat this way.
  • Sit upright for 30 to 45 minutes after eating.
  • You may need someone to remind you to finish swallowing.
  • Do not drink thin liquids without checking with your doctor or therapist first.
  • Ask caregivers and family members not to talk to you when your are eating or drinking.

Update Date: 2/26/2009

Updated by: Linda Vorvick, MD, Family Physician, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

A.D.A.M Quality Logo

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 1997-2014, A.D.A.M., Inc. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized in writing by ADAM Health Solutions.

A.D.A.M Logo