Speaking is essential to communication and success in everyday life. If you have difficulty with your voice, it may involve an underlying medical pathology. At The NY ENT Center, a part of The NT Otolaryngology Center, we offer state-of-the art diagnostic testing and treatment that is tailored to your individual needs and interests. We help voice professionals, such as singers, actors, and public speakers, who rely on speech in their careers, and anyone who has trouble speaking.
What are the most common voice concerns?
- Hoarse, strained, weak, or breathy vocal quality
- Difficulty producing a loud voice
- Pain or discomfort when speaking or singing
- Increased effort to talk
- Frequent laryngitis
- Voice fatigue
- Decrease in pitch range
- Changes in voice after trauma
What conditions cause voice problems?
- Upper respiratory infections
- Gastric reflux disease
- Environmental issues
- Vocal cord trauma and misuse
- Vocal polyps (growths)
- Laryngeal cancer
- Neuromuscular diseases (including spasmodic dysphonia)
- Psychological stress
At The NY ENT Center, we provide state-of-the art services to improve voice, swallowing, and speech related problems. We conduct thorough reviews of each individual case, taking into consideration any medical, surgical, lifestyle, occupational, or emotional factors that may be contributing to the patient’s complaint. This results in a precise, rapid diagnosis of the underlying causes of the disorder and a treatment program tailored to individual needs. We are proud to provide comprehensive care for consultation and rehabilitation in a friendly and compassionate environment.
The Diagnostic Process
Voice testing typically includes:
- Consultation with an otolaryngologist: An initial medical exam by an ear-nose-throat doctor to rule out any medical conditions associated with the throat and voice.
- Transnasal flexible laryngoscopy with videostroboscopy: A state-of-the-art test that involves placing a tube into the nose with a special strobe light that shows the vibration of the vocal folds to reveal any irregularities.
- Clinical voice evaluation: A perceptual assessment by a speech-language pathologist of muscle tension, voice quality, pitch, loudness level, resonance, breathing patterns, and prosody; Diagnostic therapy with a speech-language pathologist to determine potential for voice change.
- Acoustic analysis: Recording and measurement of the voice, in order to compare the voice to norms and to monitor voice over time; This includes perturbation measures, spectrography, and electroglottography, which determines the amount of vocal fold contact during vibration.
Treatment for Voice Disorders
You will likely see both an otolaryngologist and a speech-language pathologist, who will collaborate with you to develop a plan specific to your needs and goals.
- Visits with the otolaryngologist typically take 15 to 30 minutes.
- Sessions with the speech-language pathologist take 30-45 minutes.
- Therapy and speech training is typically scheduled 1-2 times per week, and typically lasts from 2 to 8 weeks, depending on the concern.
Voice treatment may include:
- Medication to target associated medical conditions, and/or
- Surgery to remove growths in the larynx, and/or
- Behavioral voice therapy to address muscle tension, breathing patterns, and voice production, including:
- Exercises for relaxation, breathing patterns, and voice production
- Counseling regarding voice use at home and work, and food/liquid intake related to voice
- Communication strategies to compensate for voice
Voice therapy for professional voice users, including singers, actors and public speakers, such as attorneys and teachers:
- Warm-ups and strategies during performance or work
- Speaking vs. singing technique
- Safe projection
- Applying new skills to performances or the work setting
- Vocal hygiene and voice conservation when necessary
Often, voice disorders are caused by conditions that are treatable with therapy and lifestyle changes, such as acid reflux, but, in some cases, surgery is needed. If you are having difficulty with your voice, getting to the source of the problem and finding the least invasive treatment will help restore your voice to its optimum health.
Contact us today for more information and to make an appointment.