How Speech and Language Therapy Can Help With Hoarseness
Perhaps you’re a teacher who realizes that the persistent hoarseness you’ve been experiencing in your voice has become chronic. Or maybe you work in sales, sing in a band or choir and your voice has taken on a raspy quality that remains from day-to-day.
Hoarseness is typically caused by irritation of – or injury/strain to – the vocal cords or can be caused by diagnosed pathology, such as “vocal nodules”. It can result from overuse, abuse, and misuse, or from an underlying medical condition such as an upper respiratory tract infection, GERD, or chronic acid reflux.
If you’re experiencing persistent hoarseness, it’s a good idea to see your family doctor who may prescribe medication or refer you to an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor to rule out any serious medical pathologies. The ENT doctor may, in turn, recommend that you see a Speech-Language Pathologist for voice therapy.
If the problem is related to abuse, over-use or incorrect use of the voice, a Speech-Language Pathologist can help by providing and practicing safe vocal habits and hygiene and teaching strategies to reduce the strain. They can instruct you to use your voice correctly, bringing the voice to the front of the face (forward tone) for example, rather than pushing it from the throat where it will likely irritate your already compromised vocal cords. They can provide healthy vocal hygiene tips, make recommendations for diet modifications, discuss vocal behaviors to avoid, and teach diaphragmatic breathing exercises that can help you control your vocal productions, heal, and prevent further damage.
At S.L. Hunter SpeechWorks, the team of Speech-Language Pathologists is equipped with up-to-date technology, resources and information to facilitate those who suffer from vocal hoarseness and strain.
The offices of S.L. Hunter SpeechWorks are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. They can be reached by telephone at 905-637-5522 or online at www.slhunter.ca