You find yourself having difficulty swallowing food and drinks, this is because the muscles involved in swallowing may be weakened. For people who have been on a ventilator in the hospital before, the breathing tube can cause some bruising and swelling in the tongue, pharynx, epiglottis, and vocal cords.
You need to pay attention when swallowing to avoid choking and possibly lead to aspiration pneumonia. This can happen if food or drink “goes the wrong way” and enters your lungs.
According to the Ministry of Health, if you have difficulty swallowing, you can do the following:
Sit up straight whenever you eat or drink. Never eat or drink while lying down.
– Keep an upright position (sitting, standing, walking) for at least 30 minutes after eating.
Try different foods with different consistency to see which is easier to swallow. You can choose soft, smooth and moist foods at first or cut solid foods into very small pieces. Eat slowly, do not rush, chew well.
– Stay focused when you eat or drink. Try to eat in a quiet place. Limit talking while eating or drinking to avoid widening the airways, to avoid choking, choking, or causing food or drink to go down the wrong way into the bronchi or lungs.
– Make sure your oral cavity is empty before eating or drinking another piece of water. If necessary, swallow again.
Eat several small meals throughout the day if you feel tired after eating.
– If you have a cough or choke when eating and drinking, seek advice from a medical professional, as food or drink may go the wrong way into your airways.
– Keep your oral cavity clean by brushing your teeth and drinking enough water.
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