Swallowing and Communication in Parkinson’s

SWALLOWING AND COMMUNICATION

Many people living with Parkinson’s imagine that they have more saliva than other people. While it seems to be the case, this is not true. The reason: Because everything slows down with Parkinson’s you don’t swallow unconsciously as often.

There are more than 30 muscles involved with swallowing and they all have to work together – like a domino effect. Salvia contains enzymes that can create skin problems and pain from the build-up which is not relieved by swallowing.

You may think that it’s a problem if your voice has become softer, or you may believe there is nothing you can do to fix it.

However, a Parkinson’s NSW Registered Nurse can recommend exercises for your voice muscles which should be started straight after a diagnosis of Parkinson’s diagnosis – and then maintained.

You may not want to socially engage as your voice gets softer and you become frustrated when people ask: “What did you say?” or “Could you please speak up?”.

You may also tend to back away from social occasions where you have to eat in public because it’s embarrassing.

By exercising your voice, you can reduce swallowing problems and communication challenges, reconnect socially and generally enjoy a better quality of life.

You need to get on to your voice exercises ASAP and commit to them! Talking, singing and really projecting your voice when you use it are all very beneficial.

ADVICE

  • Shout or be without – exercise your voice.
  • “We will rock you!” – Turn up the radio and sing along to your favourite song.
  • Modify food to make it easier to swallow or have smaller, regular meals.
  • Join a choir or try some public speaking (maybe in church?)
  • Check out LSVT Loud – a speech treatment program tailored for people living with Parkinson’s.
  • Try laughing yoga.
  • Search for a voice exercise software application online or on your smart phone.
  • Request a call from a Parkinson’s NSW Registered Nurse to find an exercise solution for you.
  • Call Parkinson’s NSW on 1800 644 189

LINKS

Shout or be without information sheet 

Tips for visits to the dentist

Swallowing and Parkinson’s Fact Sheet

Communication and Parkinson’s Fact Sheet

Oral Health and Parkinson’s Fact Sheet 


Parkinson’s awareness facts

Menu