Voice is fundamental for communication, in both our personal lives and communicating professionally at work. It provides an insight into our emotions, and we often connect a sense of identity with individual voices.
Voice disorders can affect the way your voice sounds and may result in a change in voice quality, pitch or loudness that is not typical for you or for your age and/or gender. Changes to the voice are also known as dysphonia. People who use their voice for work, including educators, call center operators, auctioneers, or singers, are more likely to develop a voice disorder.
Voice disorders can be caused by:
- Physical changes to the larynx, or ‘voice box’, such as vocal fold nodules, polyps or cancer
- Problems with the nerves that innervate the larynx, such as spasmodic dysphonia or vocal fold paralysis, or dysphonia due to neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease
- Inefficient use or overuse of the voice, such as vocal fatigue or muscle tension dysphonia
You may be experiencing dysphonia or have a voice disorder if you have any of the following symptoms:
- A hoarse, husky, strained or breathy voice
- Partial or complete loss of your voice
- Difficulty making yourself heard or speaking over background noise
- Fatigue or pain when speaking for prolonged periods
- Difficulty controlling the pitch or volume of your voice
Speech pathologists work with people who have voice disorders or are experiencing dysphonia, playing a vital role in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of voice disorders.
Stephanie can provide assessment and management of your voice, in conjunction with the ear nose and throat (ENT) specialists. By using research-proven therapy techniques, Stephanie can help you to achieve a voice that is efficient and proficient to meet your specific voicing demands.