1. What determines the recovery of swallowing disorders followed by a stroke?
The prognosis for recovery of swallowing disorders after stroke is related to endogenous variables such as the type, extent and location of cerebrovascular damage, comorbidity and age; and exogenous variables or outside the individual and those that are related to the real and timely access to health services, especially to phonoaudiological care, availability of techniques and technologies in the diagnosis and treatment of dysphagia as well as family and social support networks.
2. Does everyone suffering from a stroke suffer swallowing disorders?
Not everyone who has had a stroke suffers from changes in swallowing, it depends on the location of the stroke.
3. What should be done to prevent complications of dysphagia such as bronchopneumonia or undernourishment and malnutrition after a stroke?
The complications caused by alterations in swallowing can be prevented by diagnosis and early intervention of dysphagia, knowledge of the patient; family and health care staff on strategies and recommendations for safe food provided by a speech therapist as well as change in attitude health personnel regarding the important role of the speech therapist in the hospital for early management of stroke.
4. What should the family and caregiver do for a patient with swallowing disorders following a stroke?
If possible, do not restrict the participation of the person in social activities involving food gatherings. Follow the recommendations provided by the speech therapist concerning safe food habits. Consult an expert in an event of changes in feeding and swallowing habits, or warning signs such as coughing during or after swallowing, loss of appetite, selectivity in the type and quantity of food, poor nutrition or malnutrition, and signs of respiratory infection such as fever, respiratory distress and secretions.