Signs of dysphagia may include
- drooling and poor oral management;
- food or liquid remaining in the oral cavity after the swallow;
- inability to maintain lip closure, leading to food and/or liquids leaking from the oral cavity;
- food and/or liquids leaking from the nasal cavity;
- complaints of food "sticking";
- globus sensation or complaints of a "fullness" in the neck;
- complaints of pain when swallowing;
- wet or gurgly sounding voice during or after eating or drinking;
- coughing during or right after eating or drinking;
- difficulty coordinating breathing and swallowing;
- recurring aspiration pneumonia/respiratory infection and/or fever;
- extra effort or time needed to chew or swallow;
- changes in eating habits—specifically, avoidance of certain foods/drinks; and
- weight loss or dehydration from not being able to eat enough.
It is important to consider signs and symptoms of dysphagia within a constellation of other clinical indicators, rather than relying on a single sign or symptom.