Voice disorders affect the vocal cords and larynx, causing a voice disturbance in which your voice may sound harsh, scratchy or hoarse. Voice disorders include: vocal nodules, vocal polyps, and vocal fold paralysis. Causes of voice disorders include vocal abuse such as yelling and screaming; smoking; and surgeries, diseases and cancers that affect the laryngeal/neck area. Voice disorders are initially diagnosed by an Ear, Nose and Throat physician or by a professional team consisting of a speech-language pathologist and a doctor.
If the doctor recommends speech therapy, a speech-language pathologist will evaluate vocal pitch, quality and loudness using a computer program, and daily vocal use. These results will determine goals to help improve and maintain a person’s vocal skills in therapy. Speech therapy will help improve vocal skills and teach the client techniques to use their voice functionally. The clinician will also teach the use of daily vocal hygiene to maintain a healthy voice.