Voice is the sound produced by your larynx or ‘voice box’. The larynx contains the ‘engine room’ or the moving parts of the larynx, known as the vocal cords and arytenoid cartilages. Air passing from the lungs through the larynx sets the vocal cords in motion. This creates vibrations or sound waves that travel through your throat, mouth and nose cavities creating a vocal sound unique to you. This is why people may recognize you on the phone without seeing you, by your unique voice quality.
In a healthy vocal system, the voice sounds clear, can reach a range of tones from high to low, can be heard easily by others with normal hearing, can be made louder or softer as you desire, without tiring easily when used everyday at work or home. Do you use your voice a lot, or loudly? Is your voice the ‘Tool of your Trade?’ Can you rely on your voice at key moments in conversations? A healthy voice is reliable and sounds clear.
You may notice that your voice changes when you are tired or unwell, overload your vocal system by speaking a lot and loudly. These are signs your voice may be under stress. You may also notice that your voice changes with your emotions, particularly when you feel strong emotion. Others may be aware of your mood even when you are not, just by the sound of your voice. Our ‘voice’ is linked to emotional centres in the brain.
If you say yes to one or more of the following questions, chances are you have a voice problem.
If you have answered yes to more than one of the questions above, it may be necessary for you to see your GP who can refer you to an ENT Specialist.
An ENT can assess your voice difficulty, whether it affects everyday use face-to-face or on the phone with friends or family, conversations at work, singing for pleasure or professionally. If the voice is the ‘tool of your trade’, difficulties with voice can be devastating and exhausting. These are all indications that you may benefit from seeing an ENT and then a Speech Pathologist with specialist skills and experience in dealing with voice problems.
The ENT Specialist will view your larynx (voice box) with a camera that can look down your throat to the larynx below, and check for any medical or biomechanical issues that may be causing your voice difficulty.
If there is no physical or medical explanation for your voice changes or difficulties, voice therapy may be recommended to help you correct vocal style and voice use habits that may have lead to your voice difficulties. It is possible, there are underlying psycho-emotional factors that are contributing to your voice difficulty. Therapy will help you to understand what is causing your voice problem and how you can overcome it.
If surgery or some other medical intervention is required, your ENT will guide you as to the best timing of therapy for your voice. It is very useful to visit your Speech Pathologist before surgery to learn about gentle reintroduction of voice following surgery. Your surgeon will let you know the best time to start using your voice after surgery, your Speech Pathologist can show you how to use it to promote faster healing and avoid any possible damage to sensitive vocal folds following surgery.
Sharon Moore works closely with ENT, singing specialists, psychologists, physiotherapists and Alexander Technique practitioners, to ensure all aspects of the voice problem are addressed and to ensure all the right conditions for voice ‘healing’ are in place.
For more information about Voice go to:
Well Spoken offers Speech Pathology skills in the management of: Voice, Fluency, Articulation, Hearing Impairment, Early Language Delays ….and more
Well Spoken offers Orofacial Myofunctional expertise: re-programming muscles of the face mouth and throat, correction of oral habits, swallowing, chewing, breathing & speaking, tongue tie….and more.
Sharon Moore Speech Pathologist has 30 years of clinical experience as a Speech Pathologist in Australia and overseas