Problems Who gets voice problems? Why do singers get voice disorders? What are the different types of voice
interaction between the organic and functional
components of voice disorders is why it is so
important to be treated by a team of voice
specialists including at least an otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat doctor)
with special training in the voice and a
certified speech language pathologist with
specialized training in voice therapy. How are voice disorders evaluated and
Problems General Questions
Answers to basic questions about voice
Answer ten simple questions and evaluate your
Learn about Abductor Spasmodic Dysphonia,
Webs, and everything in between! View diagrams and
images and read easy-to-understand definitions.
At the Lions Voice Clinic we emphasize a team
approach in evaluating and treating your voice
problem. Find out more about the different options
available to you, including speech therapy,
medication, surgery, or a combination of these.
Voice problems, or voice disorders, can occur in
anyone and at any age. Voice disorders can develop quickly,
for instance, following a surgery or loud screaming, or
voice disorders can take months or years to fully develop.
Voice problems are more likely to occur in persons who use
their voice extensively or strenuously, but many individuals
who develop voice disorders have minimal vocal demands.
Individuals will often seek help for voice disorders when
communication is impaired or pain is involved during
speaking. The voice may also be considered disordered if the
sound is abnormal or if the voice cannot do what an
individual requires it to do.
Singers, actors, teachers, politicians
and other professional voice users are prone to
developing voice disorders because of extensive
and athletic use of the voice (for more about
the definition of a professional voice user,
please refer to our page on Professional
Voice Users). These problems may be obvious,
such as a complete loss of voice, or barely
perceptible by anyone but the individual, such
as loss of high notes in a singer. A voice
problem in these individuals may be career
threatening and needs to be evaluated by a voice
care team with experience treating professional
Basically, voice disorders may be
organic, functional, or a combination of the two
(see our page on Voice
Disorders). Organic disorders involve
something physically wrong with the mechanism.
Functional means the physical structure is
normal, but the mechanism is being used
improperly or inefficiently. Sometimes an
organic voice disorder, such as polyps or cysts
(growths on the vocal folds) cause an individual
to develop poor functional use of the voice.
Other times, poor functional use, such as
screaming or excessive throat clearing, can
cause organic changes to occur, such as the
development of nodules (a.k.a. "nodes").
Typically, patients are seen by an
otolaryngologist who takes a thorough medical
history and examines the individual's ear, nose,
and throat for potential pathologic source or
sources for the voice disorder. A speech
pathologist will then evaluate how the patient
uses their voice and what other factors might
have caused or contributed to the voice
disorder. Treatment options are then discussed
and a treatment plan devised. Treatment may
include one or more of the following options:
functional voice therapy, medication, or
surgery. To find a specialist on voice disorders in your
area, please visit the
Voice Center Referral Database web site.
Who gets voice problems?
Why do singers get voice disorders?
What are the different types of voice disorders?
The interaction between the organic and functional components of voice disorders is why it is so important to be treated by a team of voice specialists including at least an otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat doctor) with special training in the voice and a certified speech language pathologist with specialized training in voice therapy.
How are voice disorders evaluated and treated?
Date Last Modified: 1/12/12