A voice disorder is any change in the pitch, loudness, or quality of a person’s voice that impairs their ability to communicate and function properly in their daily life. It includes dysphonia (voice loss). Losing a voice is an extreme inconvenience as day-to-day tasks like speaking with other people are hampered until the voice recovers. Voice disorder affects up to 6% of the population. For those who use their voice professionally, such as teachers, preachers, actors, and singers, this rises to 21%.
Voice Disorder Categories
Voice disorders are classified as either functional or organic. Long-term overuse of the voice results in organic alterations such as vocal nodules, which causes functional voice problems. Functional voice disorders are highly frequent in those who use their voice professionally, such as teachers, preachers, actresses, and singers. Dysphonia, for example, is a type of functional voice disorder.
Organic voice disorders, on the other hand, are caused by vocal-fold injuries, such as cyst/acid reflux, anatomical alterations to the larynx, or neurological illnesses like Parkinson’s disease. Psychogenic voice disorders are also classified as organic voice disorders. Psychogenic voice disorders are a psychological component of a vocal disorder.
Impacts Of Voice Disorders
Voice disorders make it extremely difficult to be heard or understood; they force people to constantly repeat themselves, write things down, or use gestures to convey their message, which is time-consuming, stressful, and humiliating; and they cause pain and distress around the throat.
When To Seek Help For Voice Disorders
If you or your child has a voice disorder, you should seek help as soon as possible when you notice the voice issues, when the voice issues are interfering with being heard or understood by others, there is a tendency to be self-conscious or upset about the voice issues, you or the child are being teased by others because of the voice issues, or you are generally concerned about the voice issues.
How We Help
If you come to us with a concern about a voice disorder, we will do a voice assessment, and develop and implement a therapy plan. Our voice assessment begins with a discussion with you to clarify and gather information regarding your voice’s health and use, which allows us to better grasp the underlying reasons.
The discussion is followed by a perceptual voice assessment, which establishes and quantifies the voice’s qualities, such as pitch, resonance, and volume, and an acoustic analysis, which objectively analyses the vocal characteristics established by the perceptual voice evaluation. Following the assessment, we may recommend that you see an ENT expert to have your vocal folds inspected using a scope, or we may develop and implement a voice therapy program for you.
Our voice therapy program will entail introducing into your daily life some basic vocal care strategies to help you take care of your vocal cords and reduce inflammation, and removing patterns of vocal misuse and learning new ways to use your voice safely and efficiently.
Our voice therapy program will involve incorporating some basic vocal care practices into your everyday life to assist you in taking good care of your vocal cords, discarding patterns of vocal misuse, and learning new ways to utilise your voice safely and efficiently.