Voice Disorders

A voice disorder is characterized by the abnormal production and/or absences of vocal quality, pitch, loudness, variability, and/or duration, which is inappropriate for an individual’s age, culture or sex. Voice disorders can be caused by misuse or abuse of voice (i.e. yelling, excessive talking, chronic coughing, etc.), structural impairments (i.e. nodules, polyps, cysts, etc,), neurogenic disorders (i.e. cerebral palsy, TBI, vocal fold paralysis, etc.), psychological disorders (i.e. conversion aphonia, mutational falsetto, etc.) and hearing loss. The goals of voice therapy are to develop the best possible voice quality, eliminate abusive vocal behaviors, and develop appropriate respiratory support in order for the individual to fulfill his or her daily voice and/or speech communication needs.

Taken from this article

Vocal Hygiene Tips

For complaint of dryness/thick secretions

  • Increase water intake
  • Use humidification
  • Use throat lozenges
  • Decrease caffeine intake
  • Decrease the use of antihistamines
  • Breathe through the nose
  • Check medications for side effects
  • Possible allergy testing if other allergy symptoms are present

For excessive screaming or yelling/loud speaking environments

  • Use nonverbal methods to gain attention (i.e. whistles, hand wave)
  • Relocate/move in order to speak face-to-face with someone
  • Use amplification
  • Reduce background noise (i.e. TV, radio)

For complaint of vocal fatigue

  • Use vocal warm-ups
  • Reduce talk time
  • Incorporate voice rest into daily schedule

For excessive throat clearing/coughing

  • Reduce/eliminate smoking
  • Check medications for side effects
  • Assess swallowing/secretion management

*Taken from The Source for Voice Disorders Adolescent and Adult