Voice Disorders

Voice Disorders

During speech, the air stream passes through the larynx, causing the vocal cords to vibrate. The size and shape of a persons vocal cords, along with the size and shape of the mouth influences a persons voice. There are several aspects of voice:
– Loudness
– Quality (hoarse, weak, strident, husky or breathy)
– Resonance (vibration of air in the throat and nasal cavity during speech)

The child with a voice problem should always be seen by an ear, nose and throat doctor (Otolaryngologist). Any hoarseness or vocal strain that lasts for more than two weeks should be investigated. The most common voice disorder in children is vocal nodules. These are hard calluses that develop on the vocal cords due to harmful use of the voice. Nodules cause the child’s voice to be hoarse and/or sometimes weak and breathy if they are very large. Everyday misuse of the voice is a serious problem. The management of vocal nodules should always include voice therapy by a speech pathologist. Occasionally, vocal nodules require surgery.

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