Laryngeal Problems

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What to expect

Laryngeal problems

Problems which occur within the Larynx (voice box) can be caused by many different things. Laryngeal problems can range from disorders which affect function, to trauma, to psychological issues. Most voice problems are easily treated and are not life threatening. Factors such as type of job and social situation will also affect how susceptible someone is to a Laryngeal problem.

Speech and language therapy will provide support, advice and an individualised treatment programme in helping individuals to manage and overcome their laryngeal problems.

What are Laryngeal problems?

Laryngeal problems are problems which affect the quality of an individual's voice and their ability to use it ‘normally' and effectively.

The voice box is made up of thin muscle, ligament and cartilage. The voice box is controlled by the nerves known as laryngeal nerves and if these are damaged it will restrict the movement of the vocal cords. This will then lead to voice damage, such as a hoarse and breathy sounding voice.

The following are different types of laryngeal problems:

What causes laryngeal problems?

There are many different causes of laryngeal problems. The severity of the disorder will depend upon the individual and the symptoms being experienced. Below is a list of some of the possible factors that cause laryngeal problems:

  • Lung cancer
  • Viral infections
  • Head trauma
  • Surgery in a nearby location to the vocal folds
  • Incorrect use of pitch and volume
  • Tension in the neck when talking
  • Excessive screaming and shouting
  • Excessive talking in a loud voice
  • Excessive throat clearing and coughing
  • Chronic respiratory infections and allergies
  • Reflux

How are laryngeal problems diagnosed?

Diagnosis of a laryngeal problem may be done by a doctor or speech and language therapist. However in more severe cases, a multidisciplinary team may be involved to ensure correct diagnosis. The speech and language therapist plays a key role in the assessment and treatment of laryngeal problems.

What difficulties caused by laryngeal problems can speech and language therapy help with?

Speech and language therapy can help with the following difficulties associated with laryngeal problems:

How does speech and language therapy help laryngeal problems?

Depending upon the severity and type of Laryngeal problem, speech and language therapy can help to alleviate vocal problems and establish a more efficient way of using the voice so the patient can use his / her voice in a better capacity, with less strain and tension.

Speech and language therapy will investigate the cause and discover whether a reduction in the exposed tension can be reduced, and if not, ways of coping with the situation and developing a structure for that individual. Speech therapy can also help to establish new ways of communicating if needed. This could include the use of electronic devices or communication aids.

What would speech and language therapy treatment for Laryngeal Problems involve?

Speech and language therapy treatment for laryngeal problems may include some or all of the following:

Specific treatment for laryngeal problems will include voice therapy.

An initial assessment will be carried out by one of our Speech and Language Therapists. This will highlight any worries and difficulties concerning voice and communication. It will also provide a chance for you to share any concerns you may have, and allow you to discuss what you would like to work on and improve.

How do I arrange a speech and language therapy assessment?

To arrange an assessment with one our speech and language therapists, please email or call 0330 0885 643.


Problems with the larynx can be caused by many different difficulties and disorders. They can range from mild to severe, however most can be treated easily and are not life threatening. A speech and language therapist can help with different aspects of laryngeal problems and can be beneficial in finding different ways of communicating if needed. To arrange an appointment, please email call 0330 0885 643.

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Next steps

To speak to a Speech and Language Therapist or to book an appointment, call us on 0161 883 0111 or email


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