What Is A Voice Disorder?

Most of us have had laryngitis after a cold or respiratory infection. But if your hoarseness persists, it may be a sign of a voice disorder.

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association | ASHA  “A Voice Disorder occurs when voice quality, pitch, and loudness differ or are inappropriate for an individual’s age, gender, cultural background, or geographic area.”

An Organic Voice Disorder can be the result of a medical problem such as a nodule, polyp, cyst or other benign lesion. Dysphonia is one type of voice disorder, specifically related to a physical disorder of the mouth, tongue, throat, or vocal cords.

Functional Voice Disorders refer to disorders that result from improper or inefficient use of your voice when the physical structure is normal, such as vocal fatigue.

Other voice disorders are classified by individuals themselves who find their voice do not meet their daily needs or is not effective for their profession. The latter is most often individuals in sales, teachers, professional speakers, clergy etc.

What Are Signs Of A Voice Disorder?

  • Hoarse voice
  • Breathy vocal quality
  • Chronic cough or excessive throat clearing
  • Vocal strain or fatigue
  • Inability to speak loudly or abnormal loudness
  • Loss of voice
  • Abnormal or reduced pitch range or sudden change in overall pitch
  • Sudden or gradual change in overall vocal quality
  • Aphonia (loss of voice)
  • Asthenia (weak voice)
  • Tremulous voice
  • Vocal nodules

How Can Great Speech Help?

Whether your voice disorder originates from a medical problem or your personal perception, the ultimate goal is to help you use your voice optimally. Our Great Speech therapists are trained to identify normal as well as abnormal vocal function, assess vocal habits and diagnose a voice disorder. Often we refer our clients to other healthcare professionals for a more comprehensive medical diagnosis and work together with them for optimum success.

Speech therapy can increase understanding of vocal hygiene and voice conservation and decrease maladaptive muscle behaviors which are contributing to your voice disorder. During the course of treatment, we can help you capitalize on strengths and address weaknesses related to underlying structures and functions that affect voice production.

Please contact us to discuss how a simple screening may give you the answer you need.

“I thought I had a bad case of laryngitis. But when my hoarse voice did not go away, I contacted Great Speech for a free consultation. They referred me to a medical specialist who diagnosed nodules on my vocal chords. While the physician treated the medical problem, my Great Speech specialist scheduled regular sessions with me to teach me how to use my voice efficiently and reduce strain on my vocal chords.”

Andy L., Orlando, Fl