If your voice sounds
you may have a voice disorder.
The most common kind of voice disorder is a functional voice disorder, which can occur through every day use, misuse or abuse. There are also many other reasons for voice disorders like vocal cord nodules, vocal cord polyps, vocal cord paralysis as well as large tonsils or adenoids, allergies or smoking. An ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor is trained to look at your vocal cords and spot any medical problems.
During therapy you will work with your therapist on regaining your natural voice. You will learn how to breathe right, to better support voice production, how to take care of your voice (vocal hygiene). Your therapist will teach you to change muscle patterns for better voice production that you’ll practice in therapy and at home. Regular practice is essential to carry over these new techniques into everyday life.
Voice Therapy is a clinical and holistic approach to the treatment of the voice and voice disorders. It is non-invasive and targets all aspects of the individual receiving services.
A typical course of therapy is 8-10 sessions, though some people need fewer or more sessions depending on the circumstances.
Vocal Cord Dysfunction
To understand vocal cord dysfunction (VCD), it is helpful to understand how the vocal cords function. The vocal cords are located at the top of the windpipe (trachea) and vibrate from exhaled air to produce noise and voice. Breathing causes the vocal cords to open, allowing air to flow through the windpipe (trachea) and into the lungs. With VCD, the vocal cords close together, or constrict, during inhalation or exhalation. This leaves only a small opening for air to flow through the windpipe and causes asthma-like symptoms.
During therapy you learn individualized exercises and techniques to help increase awareness of breathing, body posture and how to relax the throat muscles.
Techniques and exercises can be extremely helpful in eliminating abnormal vocal cord movement and increasing control of vocal cords thus improving airflow into lungs.
The goals of therapy are to teach you techniques to prevent and eliminate VCD, chronic coughing and frequent throat clearing.