Are you experiencing hoarseness of voice, painful speech and reduced vocal range? Has your doctor prescribed speech therapy for vocal nodules? If you’re wondering what exactly is happening to your voice, here’s a little bit of information to help.
Vocal nodules are small growths of tissue that develop on the vocal folds (also known as the vocal cords). They’re similar to blisters, and they’re essentially caused by injury to the vocal folds. Yelling, shouting, aggressive coughing or using a strained voice are all common ways of causing vocal nodules. Those who speak or sing in loud environments are at a greater risk.
These nodules make it harder, or impossible, for the vocal folds to generate normal human speech sounds by opening and closing rapidly. Instead, sounds become strained and hoarse. Speakers need to take frequent breaks, they can’t generate as much noise and speech is painful.
Speech therapy for vocal nodules can do a lot of good, but it’s important to recognise that vocal nodules rarely cause any real physical harm. The real damage is more often psychological, since losing one’s ability to speak for any length of time can be very distressing – especially to courtroom lawyers, actors, TV journalists, singers and others who depend on their vocal folds for a living.
Treatment of vocal nodules usually consists of a three-pronged approach: speech therapy, vocal training and rest of the vocal folds. Surgery is a rare necessity and can be a danger to those who sing regularly, as it can change the vocal range and make it impossible to sustain some notes.
Speech therapy for vocal nodules will probably start with prescribed rest for the vocal folds. The next step will be to remove vocal abuse and misuse from your life: learning to cough quietly, learning not to strain the vocal folds, learning not to yell, among other lessons.
Then you’ll learn how to improve your breath support by, for example, singing and speaking from your diaphragm. You’ll be taught how to loosen the muscles in your neck and head region. You’ll focus on using your natural pitch, cutting back on loudness and projecting in a natural voice. You’ll also train your vocal folds to move more easily, in a relaxed manner.
Most vocal nodules resolve with time, rest and speech therapy for vocal nodules. Surgery is required with some of the most serious cases, but that can almost always be avoided. Vocal nodules can be a real problem, but the good news is that it’s usually short-term.
ENT Clinic Speech Pathology are a speech therapy private practice in Sydney. We can help adults and children with speech and language problems. We provide pediatric speech therapy, childrens speech disorder therapy, childrens speech apraxia treatment, early intervention speech therapy, preschool speech therapy, stuttering treatment, therapy for stuttering, autism speech therapy, speech disorder therapy, adult speech therapy and speech pathology resources.
We have created comprehensive speech pathology resources, that together with our speech pathologists consultation, can be used to create a customised treatment plan. This will ensure that you will experience results focused, effective speech therapy!
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