Voice

What is a Voice Disorder?:

Air moves from the lungs through the structures of the larynx (voice box) and the vocal tract (mouth) to produce voice. A “normal” voice is essential for effective communication. There are several causes of voice problems, including upper respiratory infections, acid reflux, laryngeal cancer, neurological diseases, trauma or injury. However, the most common cause of voice problems is vocal misuse. Whether the cause of a voice disorder is behavioral or structural/physiological, most voice problems are reversible.

Assessment and Treatment:

Assessment of vocal status is completed using clinical observation, parent interview and/or patient report, evaluation of vocal quality, and ability to coordinate the structures of the larynx (voice box) and vocal tract (mouth) to produce an effective voice for communicating during various tasks. Upon diagnosis of a voice disorder by an otolaryngologist (e.g., ENT), individuals are referred to a speech-language pathologist for voice assessment and therapy. At Evergreen Speech & Hearing Clinic, our speech-language pathologists work in collaboration with otolaryngologists to develop therapy plans that cater to each patient’s communication needs. Our clinicians are specialized in evidence-based programs such as Lessac-Madsen Resonant Voice Training (LMRVT) and Vocal Function Exercises, and use a holistic approach to voice therapy.

Links for more information:

American Speech and Hearing Association: www.asha.org
National Center for Voice and Speech: www.ncvs.org