Voice difficulties arise when the voice quality (pitch, clarity, volume, duration of utterance) is affected and subsequently influences the individual’s ability to speak comfortably and, in some cases, intelligibly.
Voice problems can occur due to a variety of causes, though those are mainly seen divided into instances of voice abuse and misuse (risk factors will be named hereafter) or pathological changes (surgery, other injuries, vocal nodules, laryngeal cancer or laryngeal papillomatosis (growths)). However, psychogenic voice disturbances (whether it be hormonal or psychological trauma) are also sometimes diagnosed.
As mentioned before, the following risk factors which may be viewed as voice abuse.
- Excessive talking
- Shouting or screaming
- Singing for an extended amount of time without warming up the voice beforehand
- Frequent public speaking without amplification
- Drinking high caffeine fluids or frequently eating very strong spicy foods
- Frequent visits to smoky, dusty areas
- Not using protection when working in dust or with chemical substances
- Some chronic medications
- Anything that may cause or increase the occurrence of reflux
We have all (infant or elderly) had problems with our voices. People do experience times when the voice is hoarse or when sound will not come out at all! Colds, allergies, bronchitis, exposure to irritants such as ammonia, or cheering for a favourite sports team can result in a loss of voice.
If your voice is not what it used to be, give us a call.