Voice Therapy- Are You a Candidate?
We rely on our voices to inform, persuade, and connect with other people. When our voices are unhealthy or unable to perform as they typically do, this affects other’s perceptions of us, and our own confidence level in our ability to effectively communicate.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOUR VOICE IS UNHEALTHY?
- Your voice is hoarse, raspy, and scratchy feeling for 10 days or more
- You have lost ability to sing high notes or reach high notes when speaking
- Your voice sounds deeper than it usually does
- You experience chronic laryngitis
- Your throat feels raw, achy and strained for several days
- It is effortful to speak
- You are repeatedly clearing your throat
- You are vocally exhausted at the end of the day/week and do not want to talk at all
If you are experiencing these issues, contact your doctor and ask for a referral to an otolaryngologist (specializes in ear, nose, and throat disorders). This specialist can determine the underlying cause of your vocal problem.
He/she may then refer you to a speech-language pathologist who can help you with improving the use of your voice and avoiding vocal abuse.
CAUSES OF VOCAL PROBLEMS MAY INCLUDE:
- Respiratory infections
- Genetic factors
- Heavy exposure to environmental pollutants
- Acid reflux
- Vocal misuse, abuse and overuse
- Vocal nodules
- Laryngeal growths
- Neuromuscular diseases (spasmodic dysphonia; vocal cord paralysis)
- Psychogenic conditions due to psychological trauma
Typically vocally demanding jobs such as singers, actors, teachers, doctors, lawyers, nurses, sales people, and public/motivational speakers place the most demand on their vocal system and are prone to vocal injuries.
It is believed that approximately 7.5 million people worldwide have disorders of the voice.
The majority of these disorders can be avoided by taking care of your voice and following healthy vocal habits.
Linda Saarenvirta has been practicing for over 15 years as a registered Speech-Language Pathologist at S. L. Hunter SpeechWorks. During her time at Speech Works, she has worked with a variety of clientele. For the past 9 years, Linda has focused in the area of vocal rehabilitation including the use of Visi-Pitch and Videostroboscopy vocal analysis . She has taken the Acoustic and Aerodynamic Instrumentation Workshop by KayPentax to facilitate her work with in depth analysis of vocal cord functioning. She enjoys working with all clientele and believes strongly in the client centered approach that S.L. Hunter SpeechWorks provides.