Eating out should be a fun thing to look forward to, but not everyone has this luxury when it comes to different disorders that can affect our physicality. One that can be particularly intrusive is dysphagia. Dysphagia disorder is when you are not able to swallow properly, which can cause serious and even life-threatening problems such as choking.
Depending on the severity level of the disorder, some people can struggle to eat out. However, humans are very good at adapting and overcoming, so this piece is going to discuss some top tips you can use when going out to eat! Read on to find out more.
You will know your own limitations when it comes to swallowing difficulties, so it is important that you get to choose what you want to eat. You can avoid nerves and uncertainty by checking the menu ahead of time to see if there is anything suitable on there that you will be able to eat without any problems. If you are not sure, you could call the restaurant you are looking at dining at ahead of time to see what adjustments they could make, or ask them questions about the consistency of certain dishes so you can make an informed decision in advance. Any good restaurant should be more than happy to accommodate you and your needs, and if they are not able to, they should be fine with you bringing aids such as SimplyThick flavored packet mix so that you are able to eat with your friends and family.
Depending on how difficult it is for you to swallow, you might be able to get away with choosing anything you like on the menu, as long as you chew properly. Chewing properly is the easiest and most natural way to turn food into a puree that slides down the throat with little help. This is, of course, only a good option if you are able to chew properly and are not affected by something else.
When it comes to swallowing disorders, small mouthfuls are always going to be far less dangerous than large mouthfuls. There is far less chance of small mouthfuls of food getting stuck in the throat or in the airways, and it can be much easier to swallow. Do not worry about being slow; just take your time and chew your food in reasonably small mouthfuls to ensure everything goes down as smoothly as possible.
If you find you are struggling to swallow even with these steps, you could consider introducing some drinking and eating tools into your life. Using a special ‘anti gravity’ straw can help some people swallow much more successfully, and make sure to take your time with it.
Going easy on yourself, preparing, and knowing your own body are three of the most important steps you can take for planning on eating out so you can enjoy a lovely meal.