Will stroke-induced dysphagia go away with time?

Devinsnana asked...

If a person has had a major stroke and develops dysphagia, can or will this go away in time?

Expert Answer

James Castle, M.D. is a neurologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem (affiliated with The University of Chicago) and an expert on strokes.

As with any symptom after a stroke, only time will tell if it improves. As a general rule, symptoms do not get worse once a stroke has happened (at least after the first few weeks), but we never know how much better the symptoms will get or if they will ever go away.

In certain sciences, prediction is easy and accurate. In others, it is not. Unfortunately, stroke recovery is not an accurate science. I would compare this to asking an Economist how the economy is going to look in 6 months, or asking a Weatherman how the weather will look in 6 months. They can give you a rough guess, but nothing precise.

The vast majority of improvement after a stroke occurs within the first 6 monts, then slows down substantially. Therefore, you can make a fairly accurate guess as to how much better the dysphagia gets by plotting out the improvement thus far, and continue this out until about 4 months (to correct for the fact that the recovery slows the farther out you are from a stroke).