Voice plays an important role in defining the ‘personality’ of the person. Voice is the sound that is produced when air from the lungs passes through the larynx or voice box. The larynx houses the vocal folds; they are two bands of muscle which vibrates to make sound. Just like fingerprints, each person’s voice is unique. When the voice of an individual deviates so much from its normal pitch, tone, volume and other qualities of voice that it catches the attention of others, then the voice is said to be disordered. This is when therapy or treatment of voice disorder comes into play.
Causes of voice disorders
There are certain things that can injure our vocal folds. Excessive talking, screaming, frequent throat clearing and smoking can make the voice hoarse. These can also lead to problems such as nodules, polyps and sores on the vocal folds.
Other causes of voice disorders include infections, upward movement of stomach acids into the throat (reflux laryngitis), growths due to a virus, cancer and diseases that paralyze the vocal cords. Treatment for voice disorders varies depending on the cause. Most voice problems can be successfully treated when diagnosed early.
What is Voice therapy?
Voice therapy is one of the avenues for treatment of voice disorder. Voice therapy or voice training refers to any non-surgical technique used to improve or modify the human voice. Therapy for voice disorder includes:
- A vocal hygiene program
- Relaxation and breathing techniques
- Voice therapy exercises, including exercises such as strengthening the vocal folds, relaxing and breathing exercises etc.
Professional voice users whose livelihood is mainly dependent on their voice (such as teachers, artists, singers, lawyers etc.) are often susceptible to voice problems and thus they often need to opt for treatment or therapy for voice disorder.
Early Intervention is the key to success with treatment or therapy for voice disorder.