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Swallowing Disorder (Dysphagia)

Swallowing disorder, also known as Dysphagia, refers to an abnormal delay in the movement of food or drink from the mouth to the stomach. Dysphagia can affect health in several ways and impact the quality of life. Some people may experience discomfort or minor difficulties when eating or drinking. Other people may be completely unable to swallow or may have trouble safely swallowing liquids, foods, or saliva.  Aspiration pneumonia, choking, malnutrition and dehydration, chronic lung disease, and compromised general health may be a consequence of dysphagia. Dysphagia may also have a large impact on the enjoyment of eating and drinking and may cause embarrassment or isolation in social situations involving eating. 

The causes of dysphagia include:

  • neurological disorders, such as stroke, head injury, progressive neurological diseases (Alzheimer's, Parkinson, ALS) 

  • structural changes due to head and neck cancer

  • medical treatment or treatments such as traumatic or prolonged intubation

  • systemic diseases such as Diabetes Mellitus and Lupus

Symptoms of dysphagia may include: 

  • choking, coughing or throat clearing during or right after eating or drinking

  • wet or gurgly sounding voice during or after eating or drinking

  • difficulty chewing or swallowing 

  • extra time needed to chew or swallow

  • spitting out food 

  • complaints of food sticking in the throat

  • pocketing of food in the mouth

  • frequent aspiration pneumonia/respiratory infection and/or fever

  • changes in eating habits—specifically, avoidance of certain foods/drinks

  • weight loss or dehydration from not being able to eat enough

Speech-Language Pathologists with appropriate training and competence provide assessment and treatment to individuals with dysphagia. Contact us for a free screening if you experience any of the above symptoms or If you have a change in your ability to swallow. We provide swallowing assessment, treatment, and management to adults with dysphagia. We accept referrals from physicians, health care professionals, and self-referrals. 


You can reach us at 647-848-2988, by email at  or by filling out the online form  If a swallowing disorder is suspected we will do a Clinical Swallowing evaluation, discuss with you the swallowing goals and recommend techniques, strategies and the most appropriate diet. 


Services are available online, in the clinic, your home, or long term care facility in the following locations. 

There are no waiting lists. 


Many workplaces provide extended health benefit plans that include coverage for services provided by Speech-Language Pathologists registered with CASLPO (the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists).

We will provide you with the documentation required for insurance reimbursement. 

Revenue Canada offers support through the Disability Tax Credit (DTC), a non-refundable tax credit that helps persons with disabilities or their supporting persons reduce the amount of income tax they may have to pay.

If you are receiving Ontario Works, you may be eligible for certain health-related benefits. For more information and to find out what is available to you, please contact your Ontario Works office.

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