From whispering to shouting to everyday speech, your voice plays an essential role in helping you communicate. It’s no surprise, then, that problem with your voice — even a seemingly “small” problem — can take a big toll on your life. Voice problems aren’t uncommon — in fact, about 7.5 million Americans have some difficulty using their voices. Fortunately, state-of-the-art voice therapy from a licensed specialist can help.
At ENT Specialists, we offer advanced voice therapy for pediatric and adult patients. Our team uses cutting-edge technology, voice exercises, and other techniques for optimal results and the highest levels of patient satisfaction. With locations in Salt Lake City, Murray, Draper, Tooele, and West Jordan, Utah, we make it easy to get the voice evaluation and treatment you need to feel confident and healthy.
The first step: diagnosis
Voice problems can occur for different reasons, and they can also cause different symptoms. Your voice might sound hoarse, or you might have trouble controlling the volume of your voice. In other cases, voice problems can cause speech to sound muffled or garbled, making much of what you say unintelligible to other people.
No matter what symptoms you’re experiencing, a voice therapy program can be tailored for your needs, used on its own or in combination with minimally invasive procedures or lifestyle changes, like smoking cessation.
Of course, in order for therapy to be effective, we need to determine what’s causing the problem in the first place. To do that, our team uses a variety of techniques, beginning with gathering a complete personal and family health history and learning about your lifestyle.
In most cases, we’ll use a special technique called high-definition video stroboscopy to visualize your vocal cords and the area surrounding them. Finally, we’ll perform a detailed analysis of your voice using speaking exercises so we can gain a full understanding of your voice issue.
Setting goals for voice therapy
Once we’ve determined the cause of your voice problem, we’ll design a treatment plan just for you. Most people benefit from voice therapy, either on its own or in combination with other treatments. Voice therapy is similar to other types of physical therapy, except it’s focused on improving the function of your vocal cords, along with other elements that could be affecting your voice and your speech.
Like other types of physical therapy, voice therapy begins by setting goals and determining the best therapeutic approach to achieve those goals. Your goals and your therapy program will be unique to your needs and the problems you’re experiencing. In fact, one of the benefits of voice therapy is that the therapy and the goals can be completely customized and tailored for the patient.
While your specific goals will be unique to you, the overarching goal of voice therapy is to resolve problems and improve your voice so you’re able to communicate clearly and effectively. Therapy typically begins by helping you understand what the nature of your problem is and how your voice “system” works to help you communicate.
Next, our therapists will develop a “vocal hygiene” program that focuses on daily activities aimed at improving the health of your vocal cords and optimizing the way they function. Depending on your needs, your therapy might include:
- Voice exercises
- Vocal rest
- Respiratory exercises
- Laryngeal massage
- Myofascial release
- Lifestyle guidance
If your evaluation reveals a problem that requires surgery, like polyps or cysts on your vocal cords, your therapy will include post-op exercises and rehabilitation, as well. In addition to treatment in our offices, our team will develop a home care plan so you can continue your exercises on your own, between office visits.
Get your voice back
Minor, temporary voice changes during or after a cold or other respiratory illness typically clear up on their own without therapy. But a voice problem that persists for more than two weeks is usually a sign of an underlying problem. If you’re experiencing any type of change in your voice or a voice problem that’s interfering with normal speech, schedule an office evaluation at ENT Specialists to learn how we can help. We offer virtual visits, too.