Voice problems

How we can help people with voice problems

Voice is the sound caused by the vibration of your vocal cords, when air passes through the voice box (larynx). A voice problem will occur when there is a problem with the mechanism which produces voice.

What is a voice problem?

A voice problem is a difficulty in producing voice effectively or ‘normally’ in order to communicate. There are many different severities and symptoms of voice problems and these can be caused by a variety of different factors. Voice problems will mainly affect adults but can also affect children.

The main symptom of a voice problem is experiencing a change in your normal voice quality. Different symptoms and changes in voice quality can include:

What conditions can cause voice problems?

There are many conditions and factors which can cause voice problems in both children and adults. Conditions in adults which can cause voice problems include:

How is a voice problem diagnosed?

A voice problem will usually be diagnosed by an ear, nose and throat specialist and a speech and language therapist. An initial assessment carried out by the speech and language therapist will help to determine whether an individual has a voice problem and also the severity of their problem. The ear, nose and throat specialist and speech and language therapist will work together to identify the exact cause of the voice problem. The initial assessment will help to determine what the best method of treatment will be for each individual.

How can speech and language therapy help with voice problems?

Speech and language therapy can help to support and treat individuals with voice problems. The aim of speech and language therapy will be to maximise the individual’s communicative ability.

The cause and severity of the voice problem will determine what type of treatment will be given by the speech and language therapist.

The speech and language therapist will work closely with the individual, their carer and other professionals involved in the individual’s care regarding the individual’s speech, language and communication needs.

What speech and language therapy treatment can benefit voice problems?

There are various types of speech and language therapy treatment which can benefit individuals with voice problems. The speech and language therapist will deliver an individualised treatment programme for each individual, depending on their specific speech, language and communication needs and also the underlying cause of their voice problem.

Different types of speech and language therapy treatment which are available for individuals with voice problems include:

Training

Training involves training for individuals, parents, carers and other professionals involved in the individual’s care, regarding their speech, language and communication needs.

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Consultative role

A consultative role will include advice and support for the individual, their parents, carers and other professionals involved in their care regarding their speech, language and communication needs. The speech and language therapist may also provide information on compensatory strategies for the patient and their carer or parent to help support and maximise their communicative abilities.

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Home programmes

Home programmes will include take home activities, which will help the patient and their parents or carers practise skills learnt in therapy. The speech and language therapist can provide home programmes on communication, for parents, carers and the individual, in helping them to maximise their communicative ability. School programmes can also be given to help support the individual in their educational environment.

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One to one therapy

One to one therapy will provide intensive one to one treatment for the individual. One to one therapy will work on individual tasks in helping to maximise the individual’s communication. One to one therapy can include receptive tasks, which work on the individual’s understanding of spoken language. One to one therapy may also work on expressive tasks, which work on the individual’s expressive communication including gesture and writing.

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Total communication

A total communication approach works on all available communicative forms the patient has including, verbal, written and non-verbal communication.

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Group therapy

Group therapy is where the individual and other clients with similar difficulties receive therapy together. Group therapy can often help in later stages of therapy and increase the individual’s motivation, social skills and also help generalise the skills learnt in one to one therapy.

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Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Augmentative and Alternative Communication systems will be used for patients with severe communication problems, or if the patient is non-verbal. Examples of alternative forms of communication include, alphabet charts, sign language and hi-tech voice aids.

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Speech and language therapy may also include the following:

Summary

A voice problem is a difficulty in producing voice effectively or ‘normally’ in order to communicate. An individual with a voice problem may have a variety of symptoms and these can range from mild to severe. A speech and language therapist will offer a range of services to help and support an individual with a voice problem.

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.

Worried about your voice?

If you are worried about your voice, do not hesitate to contact us to speak to one of our passionate speech and language therapists.

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Skype therapy

We offer therapy programmes over Skype for people with voice difficulties. This allows you to recieve therapeutic input at a time and in a place suitable for you.

Skype therapy

Do you need more information?

If you need any more information on the services we offer or the conditions we are able to help, do not hesistate to contact us.

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