What is dysphagia?

Dysphagia describes any difficulty or pain in eating, drinking or swallowing and affects people with a range of conditions.1

Dysphagia could be a side effect of a condition such as stroke, motor neurone disease (MND), multiple sclerosis (MS), learning disability, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, head and neck injury or cancer.2

Muscle weakness, problems with attention and concentration, balance difficulties and poor co-ordination can also affect ability to swallow.3 Difficulty swallowing not only means that there is a risk of dehydration, there is also a risk that food or drink may go into a person’s lungs instead of their stomach.2

Do I have dysphagia?

Do you:

  • Experience difficulty chewing or swallowing?

  • Often cough or choke before, during or after swallowing?

  • Have difficulty controlling food or fluid in your mouth?

  • Bring food up, sometimes through your nose?

  • Drool a lot?

  • Have a hoarse, gurgly or wet sounding voice?

  • Often have a sensation of food or drink getting stuck in your throat?

If you have any concerns about your swallowing at any time, you should speak to your doctor or nurse immediately.

“It is important that fluid is released when drinks are thickened as this supports hydration.

More than 95% of fluid is absorbed in both starch and xanthan gumbased thickeners”4

Staying hydrated with
Thick & Easy™ Clear

How could a thickener help me to stay hydrated?

Thickeners are used to modify the consistency of drinks, helping people with dysphagia to control the way they swallow.

They give everyday food a thicker consistency; making meals, snacks and drinks easier and safer to enjoy.

Thick & Easy Clear is designed to thicken foods and fluids for patients who have difficulty swallowing. It is used to help people with dysphagia to swallow safely.

Thick & Easy Clear:

  • Encourages fluid intake, therefore reducing the risk of dehydration

  • Doesn’t alter the natural appearance, taste or texture of drinks5

  • Lessens the fear of swallowing

Tips and tricks

When managing your Dysphagia from home, there are ways that you can help yourself to get the nutrition and hydration you need while also minimising the risks associated with Dysphagia.

  • Always make sure that you sit upright in a 90-degree position to eat and drink If you can, it is best to eat all meals at a table to ensure proper posture and less slouching.

  • Always make sure to set aside some time to eat your meal. Rushing through a meal can increase the risk of choking and aspiration (when food or liquid makes its way into the lungs).

  • Take small, manageable bites of food.

  • Take small sips of water while eating to help with swallowing but never take large gulps. If you are drinking too much while eating, this can also make you feel full before you have eaten enough of a meal

  • Make sure to chew foods thoroughly and that your mouth is clear before taking another bite.

  • Don’t talk with food in your mouth; not only is it unpleasant for those around you, but it can also increase the risk of choking.

  • Try to sit upright for at least 30 minutes after you finish a meal to ensure that food goes down correctly.

How to use Thick & Easy Clear

Thick & Easy Clear helps you to enjoy a varied and nutritious diet. It’s a quick and simple way to make everyday food and drinks easier to swallow, and therefore helps you reduce the risk of dehydration.

Thick & Easy Clear can be added to all hot and cold liquids and nutritional supplements.

Step 1. Add level measured thickener into empty, dry glass.

Step 2. Measure the desired amount of liquid.

Step 3. Add liquid quickly while stirring briskly with a whisk or fork, until dissolved.

Step 1.

Add level measured thickener
into empty, dry glass.

Step 2.

Measure the desired amount
of liquid.

Step 3.

Add liquid quickly while stirring briskly with a whisk or fork, until dissolved.

Thickening larger quantities:

Thick & Easy Clear can be mixed into liquids using a food processor. Keep liquid refrigerated until ready to use.

To aid palatability, you may need to prepare drinks weaker than normal, and some drinks may take longer to reach the consistency. For example, milky drinks: add the required number of scoops of Thick & Easy Clear into a dry cup, pour in the milk and whisk briskly for 30 seconds, then leave to stand for 5 minutes.

Thick & Easy Clear can be used to thicken fruit juice, coffee, tea, alcoholic drinks, meat stock or any other liquid.

All drinks can be prepared in advance and refrigerated until required.