Our voices make us unique. The voice shows how we are feeling, if we are stressed, happy, angry or sad. The functioning and sound of the voice is highly dependent on how the vocal cords look and do their job. Voice problems can mean hoarseness, a lump or pain in your throat, not being able to speak for a longer period or having difficulties controlling the pitch, loudness, or quality of your voice.
As you exhale, air gently passes through your throat, across your open vocal cords, and out your mouth and nose. When you speak, your vocal cords close partially as air travels through them, causing vibrations and the unique sound of your voice. Your voice is the result of remarkable and complex interactions involving several body parts-especially the lungs, voice box (larynx), and mouth. Damage to any of these body parts, sickness or straining use of the voice can affect the functioning of the voice and lead to temporary or permanent damage to the vocal cords.
Your doctor can usually diagnose a voice problem using information from a medical history and by doing a physical exam. Other tests may be done to evaluate vocal cord vibration or to detect suspicious areas in your throat.
After that, the speech and language pathologist can do an assessment by listening and analyzing how the voice sounds and investigate how the voice problems relate to every day demands on the voice, living habits and medical facts.
Treatment of voice problems implies training body awareness, breathing and vocal function. Parallel to this training, conversations about the different factors that can elicit or increase the problems are being held.
what causes voice problems?
Anyone can develop a voice problem, but your risk is greatest if your job puts a high demand on your vocal cords. For example, singers, preachers, and teachers have high-risk jobs. Aging also strains the vocal cords. If you scream or talk loudly, you increase your risk for voice problems. If you have ever had surgery on or near your vocal cords, are a smoker, have been exposed to toxic chemicals or have had throat cancer, the risk for developing scar tissue and future voice problems increases as well.
when are you to contact an slp?
If you are struggling with one or more of these symptoms it is time to call Jessica!
* Hoarse more than 10 days in a row
* Losing your voice totally two or more times per year
* Pain when swallowing
* Pain when speaking
* It takes a lot of energy/strength to talk
* Lump in your throat
* Tired voice in the end of the day
* Becoming breathless when speaking
* People do not hear what you are saying
* Unintentional breaks in the voice
Don’t hesitate too long before contacting a speech and language pathologist. The voice is an important part of the body and personality. When it is hoarse or tired it is giving you signals about something being not right and you should listen to it.
what does the slp do?
In order to get SLP treatment you need a referral in Sweden, preferably from a doctor at “Vårdcentralen”, your local health center, or a phoniatric/ear-nose-throat doctor, but you can even write one yourself.
During the first visit Jessica will ask you questions about the complaints and will do an SLP assessment doing voice tests.
After that, she will estimate how many sessions will be needed to diminish or eliminate the problems and, in the event you agree, start the treatment.
+46 732 546 230