Voice disorders, or dysphonia, may occur in both adults and children. Voice may sometimes be lost or very hoarse. When voice problems persist, thorough evaluation by an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist (ENT) and a speech therapist is recommended.
Voice difficulties may arise for a number of reasons. Injuries to the vocal cords or changes to the vocal cords, such as the presence of vocal nodules, may result in voice disorders. Dysphonia may also arise from the way we use our voice. Shouting or yelling may cause voice changes. Other forms of misuse of voice may also result in difficulties projecting voice, or sustaining voice. An evaluation by an ENT will help the presence of injuries or changes in the voice box. The evaluation will also help highlight if vocal misuse may be a likely cause of the changes in voice quality. Voice therapy is recommended for voice problems that arise from voice use.
Most vocal fold problems, such as hoarseness due to vocal nodules, are directly or indirectly related to the stresses placed on the vocal folds from voice use. This means that changes in vocal behaviour are usually a very important part of treatment.
Voice therapy may be an alternative to voice surgery, or may be recommended before and after voice surgery to help reduce the chances of future recurrence of the same voice problem.
Voice therapy involves the use of a number of different techniques to help address the voice problem. One of the goals of therapy is to eliminate potentially harmful vocal behaviours, hence reducing the likelihood of a recurrence or exacerbating the voice problem. Voice therapy also focuses on changing the manner in which voice is produced. Misuse of voice is one of the most common voice problems in children, singers, and professional voice users.
Research has shown that voice therapy is effective in facilitating vocal fold tissue healing following injury. Recent research data suggest that voice therapy is an effective and appropriate method of therapy either in itself or as a compliment to surgery.
Our team of speech therapists is competent in the management of dysphonia. We work closely with the ENT specialists in Singapore. If you have concerns about your voice, the quality of your voice, or questions about voice disorders, consult your doctor, see an ENT specialist or contact us. Voice disorders respond to therapy when identified and treated early.