People’s inability to use their voices in an effective manner has the potential to create a major impact on careers, personal relationships and also on the overall quality of their lives. Some might opine that voice therapy is totally reserved for actors, singers, and broadcasters, as their careers are made through the voices but the reality is that almost everyone can garner the benefits out of a voice therapy.
The speech therapists, better known as speech-language pathologists, who specialize in voice therapy, get involved in the diagnosis, assessment, planning and finally treating the patients suffering from voice disorders. These kinds of healthcare providers are trained to evaluate the usage of voice and vocal function to understand the causes behind the loss of voice and the best methods of treatment, which patients could undergo for improving their voices
Before looking into how exactly speech therapy can help in treating voice disorders, let us first understand what exactly voice disorders are, the manner in which they develop, their symptoms and causes:
Causes, Signs and Symptoms of Voice Disorders
Voice disorders deal with a variety of problems related to voice, which occur as a result of a wide range of causes.
Numerous circumstances can result in the loss of voice quality or complete voice loss. The causes which lead to voice disorders include:
If you frequently scream or raise the voice.
Side effects of medicines.
Infections caused due to bacteria.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms range from a persistent feeling as if something is stuck on the throat, to a feeling of strain on the neck and throat, leading to scratch voice.
People whose careers are dependent on voices like singers, motivational speakers and broadcasters, voice therapy might be used as a preventive measure.
Role of Speech Language Pathologist in Voice Therapy
The therapy consists of assessment and the implementation of two techniques, voice therapy and voice hygiene.
A speech-language pathologist would look at various factors while making an assessment like:
Health conditions or medications, which might affect the voice.
Full case history
Patient’s self-assessment of the problem.
Conducting an oral-peripheral examination
After completion of the assessment, speech-language pathologists can diagnose a voice disorder, provide a clear description and assess the severity of their disorder, recommend interventions, look into appropriate treatments and if needed can refer to other professionals.
A speech-language therapist would encourage patients to make necessary changes in their lifestyles and maintain a healthy regime to make sure that he or she can maintain a healthy voice. This includes:
Period of rest to the vocal cord.
Complete avoidance of screaming or shouting.
Avoid clearing out throat.
Limited use of air conditioners during summer
This voice therapy involves changing up the biomechanics of voice production. Voice therapy’s goal is to bring improvements in vocal function and quality and carry out exercises aimed at achieving strength in the vocal cord. Voice therapy programs require a maximum of 10 sessions for a period of 8 weeks.
Some of the voice therapy techniques include:
Physiologic Voice Therapy
Symptomatic Voice Therapy
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!