What are voice disorders?
Disorders of the voice may occur along with disease, neurological conditions or as the result of how a person uses their voice. A voice disorder can result in ineffective communication across the spectrum of life activities (e.g., talking on the phone, singing, working). Voice therapy’s focus is on improving the quality, loudness and pitch of an individual’s voice. This can often return a voice to an individual who has lost it, reduce tension to allow for ease for voice use for a profession and change behavior to assist in the healing process of a vocal lesion.
What types of services are offered?
Speech-language pathologists provide voice evaluations and therapy for traditional speakers and voice professionals. Prior to an evaluation, an examination of the vocal cords by an ENT provider is preferred.
Individuals who have lost the ability to speak due to removal of their vocal cords after head and neck cancer are supported through training to use an electrolarynx or other communication supports.
Evaluation includes a thorough analysis of voice behavior and function, as well as, social and emotional screening to assess use of voice for communication. Testing can include voice tasks, analysis of quality and diagnostic therapy to assess the best tools for rehabilitation.
Treatment can include functional drills, compensatory strategies and conversation for implementation of new voice behaviors.
Our speech-language pathologists specializing in voice work alongside a board-certified, fellowship-trained laryngologist during Voice Clinic at Nebraska Medicine.
What are the symptoms of a voice disorder?
- Rough or strained vocal quality
- Breathy vocal quality
- Hoarse voice
- Tremor in voice
- Pitch is too high or too low
- Volume is too loud or too soft
- Too much or too little air flow through your nose when talking
- Loss of voice
- Voice breaks
- Increased vocal effort when speaking
- Increased fatigue with talking
- Running out of breath quickly
- Frequent coughing or throat clearing
- Excessive throat tension or pain
- Difficulty breathing with throat tightness
Who benefits from voice services?
Individuals of all ages benefit from voice therapy. Individuals with the following diagnoses may benefit from voice services:
- Vocal nodules or polyps
- Vocal cord dysfunction
- Vocal cord paralysis
- Muscle tension dysphonia
- Cancers of the head and neck
- Parkinson’s disease