Regarding the Feb. 27 Health & Science article “Swallowing problems can be a serious health risk”:

Difficulty swallowing, known as dysphagia, can occur at any point across the life span and is best managed by a multidisciplinary team that includes physicians and speech-language pathologists (SLPs). SLPs are uniquely qualified to help individuals with dysphagia because their education includes, at a minimum, graduate-level coursework and clinical training in swallowing and swallowing disorders. SLPs are also at the forefront of dysphagia research, and some SLPs pursue specialization in dysphagia through board certification in swallowing and swallowing disorders.

It is important for physicians and for people with dysphagia to be aware of all available resources including patient support, educational resources and tools to help identify SLPs who have specialty certification in this area. Awareness of and utilization of these resources by an experienced multidisciplinary team that includes SLPs will ensure that no one with dysphagia endures a lifetime of “horrible” treatment.

Memorie M. Gosa, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The writer is chairperson of the American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders.

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