Most of us take our voice for granted. We normally never think about how the vocal cords produce voice. We therefore are often unable to detect voice disorder. According to Wikipedia , “The human voice is specifically a part of human sound production in which the vocal folds (vocal cords) are the primary sound source”. Voice is produced when air is exhaled from the lungs. This exhaled air passes over the vocal cords and make vibrate. The sound produced by the human voice depends on the muscular changes of the throat, palate and mouth.
Voice Disorder: What it is and its symptoms
If you see an abnormal change in the way your voice sounds then you could call it as a voice disorder. If you also have experiences of pain and discomfort in your voice, then also it could be termed as the same. The symptoms may include hoarseness, a change in pitch or even a voice crack. In case of singers they could also lose their vocal range because of the problem. If you need to clear your voice very frequently then it could be a result of this disorder.
Inflammation and swelling of voice, misuse of the voice and upper respiratory problems are all the causes of this problem. Laryngeal Cancer is another cause of voice disorder which requires immediate treatment. Studies show that about 3 to 10% of the general population suffers from the problem at some point of time in their life. But certain individuals are more prone to the disorders. These include teachers, singers and smokers. If you had a surgery of the head or neck you are a higher risk of acquiring this problem as well. For those individuals who have neurological disorders too they may be more likely to suffer from the problem.
Treating the problem
Whatever is the cause if you observe any of the above mentioned symptoms you must have your voice disorder treated. You must consult an ENT Specialist. He or she would examine your vocal cords and determine what sort of treatment would be required. Treatment could involve one or a combination of medication, voice therapy or surgery.
Voice Therapy for treatment of voice disorder
Voice Therapy involves a series of vocal hygiene recommendations. It includes modification of vocal behaviors and exercises. Treatment varies from case to case depending on the problem. It is indeed important for certain professions like professional singers and teachers. Even for public speakers voice therapy becomes important if they are suffering from the problem.
The recovery from voice therapy varies largely from person to person. The degree of the problem is definitely important. Recovery also depends on co-existing medical conditions. A Voice Therapist must have the relevant qualifications. Apart from these the necessary registrations are essential for him or her to practice. The period of treatment generally depends on the severity of the problem. But generally at least 7 to 8 months are required for complete recovery from the disorder. It has been observed that with early detection of voice disorders can be treated successfully with proper maintenance and practice.