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Please contact Florida Speech for further questions regarding voice disorders treatment, or to set up an appointment for voice therapy.
- **Please note that an examination by a licensed and certified Ear-Nose-and-Throat (ENT) doctor is highly recommended prior to initiation of speech therapy for voice disorders.
- A voice disorder is clinically defined as any deviation in pitch (too high or low), intensity (too soft or loud), quality (too hoarse or nasal), or other basic vocal attribute which consistently interferes with communication, draws unfavorable attention, adversely affects the speaker or the listener, or is inappropriate to the age, sex, culture, or class of the individual.
- Individuals with a voice disorder may sound "hoarse" or "froggy", may clear his or her throat excessively, have "squeaky" voice breaks while speaking, or have difficulty being heard from across a room.
- Voice disorders can be caused by several pathological conditions. Some of the most common pathologies include:
- contact ulcers: benign ulcers on the vocal folds, usually caused by vocal abuse (i.e.: yelling).
- papillomas: wart-like growths on the surface of the vocal folds, typically removed via surgical removal.
- vocal nodules: benign, callous-like growths on the edges of the vocal folds, caused by vocal abuse, may disappear following a period of extended vocal rest, but severe cases may require surgical removal.
- polyps: bulging enlargement on the vocal folds, caused by a period of vocal abuse, may disappear following a period of extended vocal rest, some severe cases may require surgical removal.
- Sometimes individuals with cleft lip or palate will have difficulties producing a normal voice. Problems could include reathiness, lack of speech volume, hypernasality, or hyponasality. There are several different voice treatment approaches that can help to remedy these vocal problems.
- Voice therapy is dependent upon the specific pathological findings, and is typically done in conjunction with an ENT. Voice rest is highly recommended, along with keeping the vocal folds well hydrated by drinking plenty of water, with most vocal pathologies.
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