Voice Impairment

Voice changes in adults can occur for several reasons, including neurological (in the brain) changes, injury, infection, hyperfunctional use, and unusual growths. Contact your physician for an evaluation if you notice a change in your voice.  After the evaluation, you may be sent to an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor.  An ENT can see your vocal folds by fitting a small camera through the nose and throat and then viewing the voice box.

  • Voice difficulty that might require therapy includes:
  • Hyperfunctional voice disorder (overusing the voice)
  • Paradoxical vocal fold motion (closing the airway during breathing)
  • Paralyzed vocal fold
  • Vocal nodules (small bumps on the vocal folds caused by overuse)

The voice evaluation will include completion of a case history, perceptual voice measures, and instrumental voice measures.

Voice treatment will include:

  • Education about the voice works
  • Recommendations for lifestyle changes that can improve the structure or the function of the voice
  • Recommendations and treatment activities for changing how the voice is used
  • Exercises to improve the strength and efficiency of vocal fold movement

Lake Regional’s speech pathologists have years of experience treating voice and work with ENT’s throughout the region.  Through continuing education, they are able to use up to date voice treatment protocols.

Please note: If you have a change in the sound of your voice that lasts more than three weeks, you should always go to your physician for an evaluation.  If the treatment prescribed by your physician does not help your voice return to how it typically sounds, you should schedule an ENT evaluation.

For more information about voice disorders, please visit the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website.