It is common to have trouble
swallowing, also called dysphagia, after a
stroke. You may not be able to feel food on one or
both sides of your mouth. You may also have problems chewing or producing enough
saliva. Or you may have other conditions that make eating difficult and
increase your risk of choking or breathing in food or liquids (aspiration).
Other things that may interfere
with normal eating include:
- Problems seeing or judging where things are,
especially on the side of your body affected by the
- Problems recognizing familiar objects or remembering how to
do everyday things.
- Paralysis or weakness or trouble controlling
- Problems with smell, taste, or the sense of
- Depression, which can cause a loss of appetite and
If you have eating problems after a stroke, you will need a
thorough evaluation by a speech therapist or another rehabilitation specialist.
You may need special X-rays to see how you are swallowing. As you recover from
a stroke, your rehabilitation team will monitor your progress. Swallowing and
eating problems often improve over time, but some may last for the rest of your
life. But there are many things you can do to make eating easier.
How do I manage eating problems?