Voice

A voice problem may be a change in pitch, loudness or vocal quality which draws attention to itself rather than to what is being said. A voice problem may include pain, discomfort of fatigue. Voice therapy involves vocal and physical exercises combined with behavioral changes. Hoag speech language pathologists assess and treat a variety of voice disorders upon physician referral. Because the symptoms are so varied the treatment and goals for your voice are tailored to your personal needs.

Some common signs of a voice disorder include:

  • Hoarseness
  • Loss of voice, voice breaks
  • Changes in pitch
  • Shortness of breath while speaking or singing
  • Difficulty maintain/initiating soft voice
  • Difficulty maintain/initiating loud voice
  • Sore or scratchy throat
  • Vocal fatigue when talking
  • Neck and/or jaw muscle tension
  • Loss of singing range
  • Constant throat-clearing or coughing
  • Dry throat or mouth
  • Tickling or choking sensation
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Lump in throat
  • Frequent bad breath
  • Excess mucous or phlegm
  • Acidic taste in mouth

Assessment and treatment may involve:

  • Perceptual clinical assessment of the vocal mechanism
  • Identify factors contributing to voice problems
  • Education on environmental irritants, vocal use, adequate hydration, avoidance of phonotraumatic behaviors and control of health issues – reflux, allergies and asthma
  • Establishing a phonation pattern that does not cause damage – addresses pitch, loudness, intonation, phonation, breathing and resonance
  • Vocal function exercises to achieve optimal stamina, strength and coordination of breath support, phonation and resonance.
  • Acoustic and objective anlaysis
  • Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT – Loud). This program specifically addresses patients with Parkinson Disease. This program retrains self-perception of appropriate loudness for improved intelligibility. This is an intensive 4 week, 16 session program.