Weak voice

How we can help people with weak voice

Weak voice or ‘asthenia’ is the term used to describe the physical weakness or lack of energy when producing voice. Weak voice can be caused by a variety of conditions. Speech and language therapy is beneficial for individuals with weak voice and can improve a client’s vocal quality and help with management of vocal hygiene.

What is weak voice?

Weak voice is an impairment in voice quality and occurs when there is a physical weakness or lack of energy during the production of voice. Individuals with a weak voice will usually have low volume and may have a change in pitch. Some people with a weak voice may sound ‘breathy’.

Weak voice is usually due to a change in the function of our vocal folds. Our vocal folds need to be able to close fully and periodically in order for us to produce voice effectively.

What causes weak voice?

Weak voice can be caused by the normal ageing process but can occur at any time due to poor vocal hygiene. Professional voice users may also experience weak voice due to overuse of the voice. Weak voice is usually a symptom of another voice disorder, below is a list of voice problems that may cause weak voice:

How does speech and language therapy help weak voice?

Many of the causes of weak voice are not serious and can usually be solved with advice or intervention from a speech and language therapist. Speech and language therapy can be extremely beneficial for patients with weak voice. Speech and language therapy can improve a client’s vocal quality and help them to develop coping strategies to manage their weak voice. This may result in a client becoming more confident in their production of speech.

What would speech and language therapy treatment for weak voice involve?

Speech and language therapy for weak voice may include assessments, reports, reviews, therapy programmes, support groups, training, advice and education.

Specific treatment for weak voice includes voice therapy.

Lee Silverman Voice Therapy (LSVT) is a therapy technique used by fully trained speech and language therapists that aims to increase the volume and quality of a patient's voice, this programme is designed for individuals with Parkinson’s disease as this condition commonly leads to changes in the quality of voice, including weak voice.

An initial assessment will be carried out by one of our speech and language therapists. This will highlight any worries and difficulties concerning the 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.


Weak voice is a disorder of voice quality and can be improved with speech and language therapy. The normal ageing process is usually to blame; however there are many other causes, ranging from mild to severe.

If you feel you may benefit from speech and language therapy or would like any more information on our services please email office@slt.co.uk or call 0330 088 5643.

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