Voice disorders affect the ability to communicate efficiently and effectively, and if the disorder is serious, may temporarily or permanently take away a persons’ most expressive form of communication. Although there are alternative techniques to communication such as written and non-verbal expressions the voice is the most frequent, expressive and timesaving option available. Therefore, the treatment of voice disorders is critical in ensuring the health and well-being of an affected individual.
Voice disorders may be treated by a variety of methods and are discussed in more detail below. In short, one option is voice therapy, this is the easiest and least expensive, and, typically, it has the widest scope of alternatives. Second is medical treatment, which will typically require a physician’s diagnosis and prescription, although some homegrown treatments do exist with varying degrees of success. Physicians may also recommend voice therapy. The third is surgical treatment, which will always require the care of a physician and may, as a component of recovery, involve the two other treatments.
Voice therapy consists of a variety of breathing and vocal exercises, although the latter considers both “voiced” and “unvoiced” exercises. The former implies the vibration of the vocal folds during phonation, or voicing; the latter implies the silence and stillness of the vocal folds during phonation. These exercises may also be a preventive measure against voice disorders if conducted properly and faithfully along with other preventive measures such as avoidance of smoking and abuse of the vocal folds by yelling.
Medical treatment, when prescribed by a physician, is typically aimed at the destruction of harmful tissue (such as cancers or tumors), restoration of damaged tissue, relaxation of paralysed tissue or to diminish pain. It is usually a temporary treatment after which the patient may expect partial to full recovery of normal voice.
Surgical treatment is the most invasive and expensive treatment and may, at times, render the voice permanently changed with reduced range, projection, pitch and tone. Surgical treatment is most generally the last resort if the two previous methods have failed. In addition, recovery will most certainly involve either medical treatment or voice therapy, or both, to achieve the full benefit of the surgery.
The treatment of voice disorders by any of these techniques assures the voice continues as the best human communicative medium.
If you have questions about speech pathology contact your local doctor, who will arrange for you to see a speech pathologist. We‘ll provide you with a straightforward, efficient and very effective treatment plan targeted to your concerns. Contact Us Today!