Voice disorders can occur at any time, particularly to those who rely on their voice to do their job; such as teachers, call centre workers and public speakers. Prompt and accurate diagnosis of the cause of any problem with your voice is essential. If you are concerned about a problem with your voice, you should first see your GP and ask for a referral to an ENT consultant for a medical assessment. Once we have the results of that assessment we can offer you advice, assessment and voice therapy as appropriate. Our therapy aims to help people optimise the health, quality and stamina of their voice.
With a voice problem you may find that you have:
- difficulty producing a voice
- a hoarse voice
- a breathy voice
- pain when you use your voice
- a voice that tires easily
- a voice that has little volume
- reduced or changed pitch range
- difficulty singing
- times when you have no voice at all
These problems may affect your ability to work and can be caused by:
- vocal nodules and polyps
- vocal cord palsy (paralysis)
- an injury to the larynx
- a muscle tension disorder
- acid reflux
- excessive stress or emotional distress
- misuse and/or abuse of your voice
- smoking or working in dry atmospheres
- using your voice over long periods of time
- using your voice over background noise and/or shouting
- an underlying medical condition such as a neurological disease, respiratory disease or cancer
Our Speech & Language Therapy can help you by:
- ensuring you have had an assessment of your vocal cords by an ENT Consultant before commencing any voice therapy.
- providing information about the nature of your voice problem e.g. about the damaging voice production patterns that have resulted in your dysphonia.
- offering you voice therapy to resolve or improve your voice disorder.
- offering voice therapy that aims to re-programme the aerodynamics and muscle patterns of your voice production.
- giving you skills to maintain an adequate voice for work and for other parts of your life beyond voice therapy.
- providing training to you and your workplace to encourage voice use to be as safe and efficient as possible.