What is Voice Therapy?
Voice Therapy is a mode of treatment for a patient with a voice disorder, which includes:
- A vocal hygiene program
- Relaxation and breathing techniques
- Exercises for strengthening the vocal cords
What does a voice therapist do?
The voice therapist provides the behavioral mode of treatment. The voice therapy is conducted over several sessions, by means of a one-to-one interaction between the patient and the therapist. During these sessions, the various modes of the therapy are demonstrated and taught to the patient, so that he can follow the required regime independently and at home.
Special voice software programmes are used to monitor the improvement in voice quality and provide feedback to the patient.
What is the scope of voice therapy?
Various voice problems can be successfully managed by voice therapy:
• Vocal cord lesions due to vocal hyperfunction (voice misuse and abuse) such as vocal nodules, polyps, cysts and vascular lesions can be treated by voice rest and an individually designed vocal hygiene programme.
• Vocal hypofunction disorders like bowing of cords and unilateral or bilateral vocal cord palsy can be treated by a regime of exercises for strengthening the vocal cords.
• Functional aphonia and spasmodic dysphonia can also be managed successfully by relaxation and breathing exercises.
• Voice therapy is a part of post-operative care for patients operated for vocal cord lesions and also following such procedures as thyroplasty, botulinum toxin injections and Teflon paste injections.
• Post laryngectomy voice rehabilitation with the help of artificial larynges, voice prostheses and oesophageal speech.
The success of voice therapy is dependent upon:
• Correct medical diagnosis
• Proper functional assessment of voice use
• The therapist’s knowledge and skill
• Patient compliance