Do you suffer from hoarseness, roughness, breathiness, difficulty projecting your voice or vocal fatigue? Changes to the voice can have a dramatic impact on your ability to communicate, work, socialize and sing.
Lake City Speech & Voice Therapy can help evaluate your voice difficulties and create an individualized plan to improve your voice. Evaluation may include an in-depth analysis of your voice, assessment of your breathing, how your breathing and voice are coordinated, how you use your voice, daily habits and medical issues that may be impacting your voice. We work to develop a personalized plan for voice therapy to address your specific needs.
Common causes of voice disorders include:
Vocal nodules, polyps, cysts, or other benign vocal fold lesions
Vocal cord paralysis or paresis
Muscle tension dysphonia
Vocal fatigue or vocal strain
Age-related voice changes (presbyphonia), bowed vocal cords (presbylaryngis)
Head & neck cancer
***If you have voice changes lasting longer than 2 weeks, it is recommended that you seek a medical evaluation with an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor (also referred to as an ENT), laryngologist (voice specialized ENT), or other medical professional. Evaluation by an otolaryngologist may be required prior to starting therapy.
Your ENT will likely visualize your larynx (voice box) to assess the health of the larynx and vocal cords. This examination will give your voice therapist important information to help understand the underlying problem with your voice.
Upper Airway Disorders
Chronic cough or throat clearing
Chronic cough or throat clearing can not only be disruptive to your day, but it can also affect the health of your vocal cords due to the repetitive impact coughing or throat clearing has on your vocal cords. However, not all coughing is bad. Your cough is a protective mechanism to protect or clear the airway. When coughing is chronic, it can be habitual and debilitating and, in many cases, controlled if the underlying causes are determined.
Seeking help from a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) that specializes in upper airway disorders may be helpful. A complete case history can help to pinpoint factors that may be influencing your cough and offer ways to address them. Increasing your awareness of your cough triggers and learning specialized replacement techniques can reduce or eliminate chronic cough or throat clearing.
Inducible Laryngeal Obstruction (ILO)
ILO is also commonly referred to as paradoxical vocal fold motion (PVFM) or vocal cord dysfunction (VCD). ILO is often misdiagnosed as asthma but can also co-occur with the diagnosis of asthma. ILO means that the vocal cords attempt to close when you inhale narrowing the airway. People with ILO may also have stridor (noisy inhalation), coughing and feeling of difficulty inhaling or trouble catching their breath. ILO can be triggered by a variety of causes including exercise, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), post-nasal drip, anxiety, fumes, smoke, or other irritants.
Seeking help from a Speech Language Pathologist that specializes in upper airway disorders can help you to understand the factors that may be triggering your breathing events, help create a plan to reduce triggers and provide respiratory exercises to retrain the muscles for breathing. Understanding the causes of and ways to manage your breathing events can be empowering and give you a sense of taking back control of your breathing.
Contact Lake City Speech & Voice Therapy to see how we can help.
Contact us for a free consultation.