• Wendy Richardson

But There's Nothing Wrong With My Speech - I'm just a bit croaky!

Many people are unaware that Speech and Language Pathologists are able to help with voice problems.

Huskiness, voice loss and unusual pitch or tone, are usually to do with how a individual is using their larynx or voice box, which is halfway down the throat. It has nothing to do with pronunciation, which occurs in the mouth.

Quite good speakers can develop voice problems due to: talking over background noise or other physical stress, changes in the vocal cords due to a medical condition such as thyroid enlargement, gastric reflux, or allergies, and damage during surgery or emergency medical procedures.

A speech pathologist used to dealing with voice disorders will investigate the background to the problem: when it started, potentially contributing factors such as infection, allergies, smoking, dental issues, reflux, psychological stress, background noise, and vocal demands generally.

Clients will be shown how the voice works and the likely factors causing the presenting problem. They are then provided with exercises to relax the throat and improve breath support and resonance, together with advice on avoiding the contributing factors.

If a client has not consulted an Ear Nose and Throat doctor, they will usually be asked to do so, to note any physical damage or changes that may require medication or surgery.

Problems with the sound of the voice can be addressed by speech pathologists.

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