Do you have a serious voice disorder?
Have you ever been to a football game and cheered too loud? Or, better yet, a concert? Well, it's quite natural to strain your vocal chords when you shout, or even after a terrible cold. Your throat may feel raw, hurt a bit when you try to speak, and you'll notice a rasp in your voice.
What's a voice disorder?
A voice disorder is when someone's voice is not the appropriate pitch or loudness depending on their age and gender, according to The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Some symptoms of a voice disorder include roughness, breathiness, strained, abnormal pitch (too high, or too low), abnormal loudness/volume (too high, or too low), aphonia (voice loss), asthenia (weak voice), gurgly voice, hoarse voice, pulsed voice, shrill voice, and a tremulous voice.
What causes voice disorders?
There are several things that may result in a voice disorder, such as:
- Vocal chord abnormalities
- Inflammation, or trauma of the larynx
- Laryngeal nerve paralysis
- Side effect of other diseases like Parkinson's disease and Multiple sclerosis
- Vocal fatigue from yelling, or screaming
- Excessive throat-clearing
- Vocal fold nodules, polyps, or paralysis
How do I know I'm suffering from a voice disorder?
Aside from the symptoms mentioned above, your ENT can confirm whether or not you're suffering from a voice disorder by providing a screening.
They'll assess vocal characteristics related to:
- Vocal range
- Vocal Flexibility
How is a voice disorder treated?
There are a few treatment options your doctor may work on with you. Here are a few:
- Rest and relax your vocal chords
- Drink plenty of liquids
- Get voice therapy provided by speech pathology specialists
- Allergy treatments if allergies are causing the disorder
- Stop smoking
- Use medications (oral, topical, or injections) that reduce inflammation, treat gastroesophageal reflux, or prevent blood vessel regrowth.
Interested in treatments for Voice Disorders from San Antonio Voice and ENT Institute?
Call us at (210) 957-1115 today for an appointment!