Voice & Airway Disorders

“Every voice is unique, like a finger print”. Using biofeedback, the goal of vocal habilitation is to train each individual strategies to maximize their best vocal quality. Increased education regarding vocal fold physiology and biomechanics helps each one to establish their healthy balance of relaxed diaphragmatic breathing, relaxed phonation and open resonance. Vocal flexibility and freedom is developed.

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Clinical voice evaluation – We are fully equipped to diagnose and treat the full spectrum of voice disorders as well as voice restoration for head and neck cancer patients and laryngectomees. We also offer education and prevention for singers and professional voice users.

Digital Videostroboscopy – Provides slow motion visualization of true vocal folds with superior image quality. Allows observation of vibratory characteristics such as mucosal wave, symmetry and amplitude of vibration, glottal shape at closure and timing relationship.

IAL Instructor of Alaryngeal Speech – Expertise with Tracheoesophageal prosthesis (TEP) fitting, artificial larynx and esophageal speech. CLICK FOR MORE INFO

What Are Voice Disorders and What Causes Them?

There are many types of voice disorders and many causes. A voice disorder is usually noted by a change in the voice quality such as chronic hoarseness, roughness, breathiness, or pain in the throat. If an individual has chronic hoarseness or vocal change for more than 2 weeks, he/she should contact their health care professional, a physician or a speech language pathologist.

The following are some of the most common voice disorders and their causes:

Vocal fold paralysis: one or both of the vocal folds do not move properly towards or away from midline due to paralysis or weakness of the fold(s). The cause may be damage to nerves during surgery, tumors pressing on the nerve, accidents causing damage to nerve or vocal fold muscle, or idiopathic infection.

Vocal fold nodules: benign lesion that is usually on both vocal folds and varies in size. They are usually caused by trauma or inflammation of the vocal folds from voice abuse (smoking, yelling, loud/excessive talking, improper breathing, throat clearing, and coughing) over a period of time.

Vocal fold polyps: fluid filled lesions that usually appear on one vocal fold only. They usually appear suddenly from one incident of voice trauma or abuse.

Polypoid degeneration: swelling along the length of the vocal fold. This is usually caused by chronic misuse of the voice related to abuse and smoking.

Vocal fold dysfunction (AKA, paradoxical vocal fold motion and proximal laryngospasm): inappropriate closure of the vocal folds during inhalation. This may be confused with respiratory difficulties such as asthma and individuals may be inappropriately intubated if VCD is not properly differentiated.

Spasmodic dysphonia: vocal folds appear normal until they are used for talking at which time the movement becomes uncontrolled and spastic resulting in tight, quivery, and hoarse voice with periods of no sound. The cause is unknown.

Other conditions affecting voice.