Voice therapy is a common means of treatment for individuals with hoarseness that may be related to improper vocal usage, over-use, and/or misuse of the vocal system. Voice therapy is typically curative in about 80% of cases of vocal fold nodules. And, therapy is critical in the remainder of cases to help prevent recurrence due to improper vocal usage.
Voice therapy is similar to physical therapy. The techniques help patients retrain their muscle groups to produce the voice with less effort and strain, and in better alignment. It frequently includes exercises that must be practiced to create a new automatic pattern of speaking.
In some cases, voice therapy may not be intended to cure a problem with the vocal folds, but to prevent worsening and promote your best possible voice attainable, considering the underlying condition of the vocal folds. This can happen in people who have undergone surgeries resulting in scarring that limits full vocal fold vibration or after radiation therapy for small vocal fold cancers.
There are 3 components to voice therapy:
Education: The patient with a voice disorder will learn the nature of their problem and how the way in which they use their voice contributes to it. This usually involves viewing videostroboscopic images of their vocal folds in slow motion to be able to see the impact of lesions or movement problems on natural vocal fold vibration.
Vocal Hygiene: Patients typically learn specific ways in which they can best take care of their voice. This may include anti-reflux recommendations where reflux is felt to be contributing to their problem. Hydration is critical and patients are counseling to increase water intake and reduce substances like caffeine that increase dehydration. Patients also learn about other vocal behaviors that may adversely affect their voice like throat clearing, abnormally loud speaking, etc.
Directed Vocal Exercises: This aspect of therapy deals with individualized exercise programs developed for each patient to specifically address their needs. Programs are continually monitored during sessions and modified as needed.
Why Choose UHealth?
Ranked No. 9 in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. The ranking reflects the team’s dedication to excellence in research patient care and outcomes. Surgeons, audiologists, biomedical engineers, speech pathologists, researchers, and psychologists collaborate with many research programs at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine to deliver the best possible multidisciplinary care to pediatric and adult ear, nose, and throat patients.
Customized treatment from a multidisciplinary team. We work with you to understand your condition and your vocal goals so we can craft a customized treatment plan that makes the most sense for you. When therapy is needed, we develop a personalized therapy program based on your specific situation and tailored to your needs and goals. Our multidisciplinary team works alongside you for the long term to ensure that you receive comprehensive treatment and get your voice back.
World-class care in an academic health system. We are recognized throughout South Florida and the world as a leader in treating conditions and disorders of the ear, nose, and throat. Backed by one of the nation’s top universities, our team uses the latest technologies and research-driven expertise to provide you with superior, personalized care and the best outcomes.