Banner Health Services  

Swallowing Problems


Abby Jacobson, Speech Pathologist, Banner Baywood Medical Center

Question: Why Do I cough every time I have something to drink?

Answer: Coughing with liquids could be a potential sign of a swallowing problem.  The perception of liquid going down the “wrong pipe” could indicate entry of fluid into the lungs, which can lead to a serious condition called aspiration pneumonia. 

If you consistently cough or choke on liquid or food or experience any of the following signs/symptoms, contact your physician immediately. If you would like more information on aspiration pneumonia, please call the Banner Health referral service at (602) 230-CARE.

Signs and symptoms of a swallowing problem may include:

  • Coughing/choking on food and/or liquid
  • Wet/gurgling vocal quality
  • Repeated swallowing
  • Pocketing of food into the cheeks
  • Drooling
  • Increased body temperature (fever) after eating/drinking
  • Increased congestion after eating/drinking
Page Last Modified: 02/22/2010
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