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Speech and Swallow Therapy For Facial Paralysis

What is Speech and Swallow Therapy for Facial Paralysis?

Speech and swallow therapy for facial paralysis is a specialized form of rehabilitation aimed at addressing difficulties in speech articulation and swallowing that can arise as a result of facial nerve dysfunction. Facial paralysis can impact various aspects of facial muscle function, including those involved in speech production and the coordination of swallowing.

A speech pathologist is an essential component of rehabilitation after developing facial paralysis. If  you have facial paralysis, you may experience difficulty speaking and eating. The facial nerve is responsible for movement of the lips and helps to maintain muscle tone in the cheek.

When the facial nerve is injured, the lips can no longer move as well. They may become weaker and the muscle tone in the cheek can diminish. As a result, it may become difficult to speak clearly and you may feel that it is more difficult to be understood.

The following are exercises may be used to improve your ability to speak clearly and eat better.

  • Speak slower so others can understand you better
  • Try and reduce the noise around you so that others can hear you more easily  
  • If eating and drinking are very difficult it is because your cheek may be floppy and loose due to reduced muscle tone. Therefore, when you speak and eat you may try to place your hand against your cheek. This will provide support to the cheek which helps direct speech forward and keep food from getting trapped on one side of the mouth.
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