Voice Disorders

Image of an older man smiling

What is a voice disorder?

A voice disorder occurs when an individual’s pitch, vocal quality, resonance, or loudness are inappropriate for their age, gender, or cultural background. When a person feels that their voice does not meet their daily needs, they may pursue treatment.

Voice disorders may be structural and result from a change in the vocal mechanism itself like nodules, polyps, laryngeal cancer, or aging. They may otherwise be neurological in nature, as is the case with spasmodic dysphonia, vocal tremor, Parkinson’s, or vocal fold paralysis.

Voice disorders may be structural and result from a change in the vocal mechanism itself like nodules, polyps, laryngeal cancer, or aging. They may otherwise be neurological in nature, as is the case with spasmodic dysphonia, vocal tremor, Parkinson’s, or vocal fold paralysis.

When to seek evaluation and treatment

An individual should consider diagnosis and treatment for a voice disorder or underlying pathology when their difficulties or concern impacts their daily life. The first inquiry may be with a general practitioner or otolaryngologist (ENT) or a speech-language pathologist for evaluation, and to determine what the underlying issue might be.

Voice therapy may be an elective service, as in the case of transgender or gender diverse individuals. Performers may seek therapy as a preventative measure. A visit to the ENT would not be necessary in these cases, and those seeking services may wish to proceed directly to a speech-language pathologist.

What are risk factors for developing a voice disorder?

  • Occupations: teachers, salespeople, singers, and manufacturing workers are examples of jobs that might require overuse or abuse of the voice on a daily basis
  • Gender: there is a higher prevalence of voice disorders in adult females than adult males, although there is a higher prevalence in male children than female children
  • Age: a higher prevalence has been reported in elderly adults

How can Expressable help?

If you or a family member are having difficulty with hoarseness, vocal tremor, pain when vocalizing, vocal fatigue, or other issues, Expressable online therapy can offer evaluation and treatment without the need to visit a clinic. Clinicians are knowledgeable in identifying abnormal vocal function, diagnose vocal disorders, and establish intervention or vocal hygiene plans to help individuals use their voice optimally and to their desire. It is possible that Expressable clinicians may recommend a visit to the ENT or other medical professionals in order to gain a complete understanding of potential diagnoses.

Whether a voice concern is stems from a medical issue or not, Expressable speech-language pathologists can help. See how to get started with a free consultation.

Talk with a certified therapist today.

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