Vocal Health


Diagnostics | Therapies



Vocal Health

Diagnostics | Therapies



Medical Conditions That Affects Your Voice


A voice disorder can show a wide range of symptoms from hoarseness or a chronic dry to a scratchy throat, a pitch/tone that is not pleasing. This limits the ability to speak clearly, or periods of voice loss.

  • Hoarseness
  • Vocal Fold Nodules
  • Vocal Misuse and Abuse
Hoarseness

Hoarseness affects around 31% of telemarketers, 58% of teachers and 44% of aerobic instructors. If it persists for several weeks may represent a more serious problem that requires medical and therapeutic attention.

Persistent hoarseness may also be a symptom of cancer. Around 52% of people who experience persistent hoarseness and delays in seeing a doctor, leads to throat cancer.

Vocal Fold Nodules

Vocal abuse such as loud, excessive talking or screaming can cause the formation of Vocal fold nodules, which results in hoarseness of voice that may fatigue easily. These nodules (bumps) are considered benign and can respond well to voice therapy treatment when identified at an early stage.

Vocal Misuse and Abuse

Vocal misuse or abuse results in a voice that is hoarse, scratchy and gets tired easily. The tightness and soreness in the throat might fade out the voice during the day when people speak the most. There may be periods of voice loss.

Vocal misuse occurs mostly with people who are highly effective in reestablishing healthy, appropriate voice use- teachers, professional speakers and telemarketers. If vocal misuse is left untreated for a long period, it might lead to more serious throat, voice and vocal fold disorders.








Disorders Altering Your Voice


  • Irritable Larynx Syndrome & Chronic Cough
  • Polyps
  • Spasmodic Dysphonia
  • Vocal Fold (Cord) Bowing
  • Vocal Fold Paralysis
Irritable Larynx Syndrome & Chronic Cough

An irritable larynx syndrome is a group of symptoms, often associated with acid reflux or an illness, such as a cold or the flu. The illness goes away but not the cough. Sometimes the coughing can be severe and persistent, occurring many times in the day, and often in response to a specific triggering event. Chronic cough/irritable larynx is very responsive to the treatment techniques developed at the Voice & Swallowing Center of Maine if diagnosed correctly.

Polyps

Polyps can be caused by vocal abuse or laryngeal refluxing. This causes hoarse voice, a feeling of excessive voice fatigue during periods of sustained talking and periods of occasional voice loss.

Spasmodic Dysphonia

Spasmodic Dysphonia is a disorder in which voice is accompanied by struggle and strain to talk. The voice may sound squeezed, tense and sound like it rapidly stops and starts and can have uncontrolled changes in pitch and loudness. Voice therapy may help maximize the benefits of treatment.

Vocal Fold (Cord) Bowing

Vocal Fold Bowing is an abnormal pattern of vocal fold movement, where the vocal folds partially and come together to produce a voice. Muscle atrophy (poor muscle tone, loss of strength) is considered to be the general cause of it. Voice Therapy can be used to strengthen the muscles and reduce atrophy.

Vocal Fold Paralysis

Failure in the movement of the vocal cord can lead to a very breathy voice, which can be accompanied by swallowing difficulty. It can be seen after an injury or strokes or a nerve disorder. Voice therapy is the initial treatment to see if the vocal cord can be strengthened. The physician may also decide to inject material into the vocal cord to build it up.

  • BERA
  • ASSR
  • OAE

Or Brainstem evoked response audiometry is an objective neurophysiological test for the evaluation of the hearing threshold and diagnosing retrocochlear lesions. Both in adults and children, this basic test for hearing loss should be routinely taken. Using BERA, it has been found that over 30% of children below 10 years show some degree of hearing problems. The early diagnosis and rehabilitation will reduce disability in these children.

Bera also gives a reasonably accurate assessment of hearing threshold levels objectively when used in adults. Along with speech stimuli, it helps in the identification of complex hearing disorders involving auditory processing areas of the brain.

Auditory Steady-State Response is an objective test used to evaluate the hearing ability in young children for traditional audiometric testing. This information is essential in the management of children with suspected hearing loss.

(Otoacoustic Emissions) test checks the inner ear’s response to sound. The test is mostly done on infants and children who are generally unable to respond to hearing tests because of their age.



Voice Lab – Restore Your Voice


Spectra Plus facilitates the patients with labs specially designed for Acoustic Analysis – Computerised Voice Assessment to identify the cause, symptoms and impact of the voice disorders.
Videostroboscopy: A method of viewing magnified, slow-motion views of the vocal cords in action to detect abnormal motion and disorders of vocal folds.

Care for Professional Voice Users: Laryngopharyngeal reflux, muscle tension dysphonia, fibrovascular vocal fold lesions, cysts, vocal fold scarring, changes in vocal fold mobility and age-related issues

Vocal Hygiene: A daily regimen to maintain the health of vocal folds

Voice therapy: To reduce hoarseness and healing of wounds after surgery or injury







Swallowing Therapy


Swallowing therapy is a service provided by a Speech-Language Pathologist(SLP). These expert professionals evaluate and treat swallowing disorders in adults.

After an evaluation for a swallowing disorder, the diagnosis and treatment recommendations are created. Spectra Plus offers complete swallowing therapy including compensatory and positioning recommendations.

The duration of the treatment for swallowing disorders is typically completed successfully in 6 to 8 weeks. Activities and exercises are provided for routine implementation at home, if followed consistently, it reduces the recovery period. Spectra Plus is dedicated to delivering the best care to patients, with a group of top Swallowing Therapy Professionals.



An accurate diagnosis from trained experts, now at a centre near you