Voice Disorders
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 man speaking into tin can with cord

A voice disorder is a disorder that occurs when voice quality, pitch, and loudness are found to be atypical for an individual's age, cultural background, or geographic location.

Voice disorders can be caused by physical changes of the vocal cords (also known as vocal folds) due to growths, injury or other illnesses, neurological changes or disorders that affect how the voice mechanism is functioning, or from improper/inefficient use of the vocal mechanism even when the structure is normal (e.g., muscle tension dysphonia).

Voice therapy is also offered to people undergoing gender transition who want to modify their voice. 

 

How can a Speech-Language Pathologist help?

Speech-Language Pathologists can help by:

 

  • conducting screenings and formal evaluations of the different characteristics of voice such as respiration (breathing), phonation (the production of sound causing by the vibration of the vocal cords), resonance (the amplification, richness and quality of your voice), vocal range and flexibility
  • assessing the different parts of the body used to produce voice
  • identifying behaviours that are contributing to the voice problems
  • recommending further imaging of the larynx to view vocal fold vibration (using a videoendoscopy and/or videostroboscopy) 
  • providing therapy and strategies such as adequate vocal hygiene (e.g. keeping hydrated, avoiding clearing the throat, etc.) to improve the voice disorder
  • working as part of a multidisciplinary team alongside an ENT (otolaryngologist) to help identify and treat voice disorders

Find a Speech-Language Pathologist or Audiologist