Voice Therapy

Voice disorders can be caused by a number of factors including structural abnormalities, neurologic conditions (like Parkinson's disease), vocal fatigue, anxiety, depression, and phonotrauma (like yelling or excessive throat-clearing). When deciding on treatment options, an SLP should start by identifying the behaviors/situations that are involved in the voice impairment. When recommending treatment options, it's important to consider not only the severity of voice disorder but also the communication needs of the individual.

Physiologic voice therapy programs focus on treatment that addresses respiration, phonation, and resonance. A few of these programs include:

1. The accent method in which the SLP works to support the patient's breathing and voicing
2. Expiratory muscle strength training which focuses on building respiratory muscle strength by using a mechanical device to "work" the muscles
3. Resonant voice therapy which helps to shape basic speech into conversational speech by using techniques like humming to achieve strength and clarity in the voice

Symptomatic voice therapy programs focus on modifying specific vocal components like pitch, phonation, and loudness. Some techniques include:

1. Using amplification devices like microphones
2. Inhalation phonation where the patient is asked to produce a high-pitched voice while inhaling and trying to match that pitch when exhaling; this is done in an effort to achieve true vocal vibration
3. Confidential voice which is used to relax the muscles of the larynx