Voice is judged as normal when the quality, pitch, loudness or flexibility are adequate for communication and suit a particular person. Voice becomes a problem when quality, pitch, loudness or flexibility calls attention to itself, rather than to what the speaker is saying. It is also a problem if the speaker experiences pain or discomfort when speaking or singing.
In addition to temporary misuse of the voice, some individuals develop habitual patterns that may have started with an acute condition, but are retained after the associated condition resolves itself. Some examples are talking too loudly, using a pitch level that is too high or too low or improper breathing patterns.
Medical diagnoses which can lead to a voice disorder include, but are not limited to the following:
Swelling of the vocal folds after voice misuse can lead to small growths such as vocal nodules, nodes, polyps, or contact ulcers. Smoking can be damaging to the voice and has been found to cause cancer of the larynx, or voice box.
A professional speech-language pathologist performs the non-medical evaluation of a voice disorder and, when indicated, executes a plan to improve voice. Following the evaluation, voice rehabilitation consists of several components:
The plan of care may include voice therapy techniques such as:
Voice therapy is effective for helping the patient with a voice problem and helping professional voice users, such as those engaged in public speaking or singing, in protecting and conserving voice for the future.
To schedule an appointment, call Central Scheduling at 561.374.5700.
For more information, call 561.292.4960.