Voice Disorders

Voice Disorders

A dysphonia or voice disorder is mainly shown by the fact that the so-called phonation or articulation ability of the voice can be temporarily impaired in people of all ages.

What are voice disorders?

One definition is voice disorders (dysphonia) as an altered sound of the voice. The voice disorders are characterized by the fact that the affected person’s normal voice sounds different than it did before the disorder developed. For what is splenic infarction used for, please visit fun-wiki.com.

Within the voice disorders, numerous forms are identified, which are also currently relevant. People who are particularly stressed in their voice can suffer from varying voice disorders.

Some types of voice disorders are based on natural causes, while others are acquired in origin. As a rule, abnormalities in voice production occur, which can manifest themselves not only in the articulation, but also in physical and organic complaints.

Causes

The causes of voice disorders are favored in the human physiology itself as and in an overloading of the voice apparatus by external influences and by an unfavorable way of speaking. In addition, organic impairments of the larynx and the vocal cords are triggers for voice disorders (dysphonia).

During puberty, voice changes occur in boys and after the menopause due to hormonal changes in women.

So-called usogenic causes are determined by the fact that the voice is not used correctly. In particular, constant and loud talking, straining the voice and improper strain on the vocal cords can contribute to the development of voice disorders. The vocal cord nodules are the predominant triggers of dysphonia.

Voice disorders can also result from inflammatory changes in the vocal cords, tumors and paralysis of the vocal tract or larynx, as well as occurring in line with colds. The causes of voice disorders (dysphonia) can also be rooted in the psyche.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

Voice disorders are usually accompanied by fairly definite and clear symptoms. In many cases, the underlying disease is irritation of the vocal cords. Typical symptoms are a severe sore throat and a clearly audible hoarseness in the affected person. In addition, there can be difficulties in swallowing, so that those affected are very restricted in their everyday life.

If such a clinical picture remains completely untreated, further unpleasant symptoms can develop. In addition to the sore throat, there is a purulent cough. This is very difficult to cough up, so the voice disorders will continue to intensify. The symptoms that occur can only be alleviated by taking the appropriate medication.

Voice disorders can arise due to various underlying diseases. In most cases, there is a bacterial infection that causes a voice disorder. If you don’t visit the doctor, you have to expect a significant worsening of the symptoms that occur.

The sore throat and difficulty swallowing increase significantly, so that food intake is severely impaired. In addition, there is pus formation in the throat area, which occurs more often at night. On the other hand, if you opt for medical and drug treatment, you can expect the individual symptoms to subside quickly.

Diagnosis & History

Those affected complain of voice disorders about a limited ability to speak and about an unusual sound of the voice. The voice is smoky, scratchy, sounds rough or shrill or suffers from a lack of sound and becomes quieter. In addition to classic side effects such as urgency to clear your throat, urge to swallow, sore throat, coughing and a feeling of dryness, there is pressure in the area of ​​the vocal tract.

The diagnosis of voice disorders (dysphonia) is made by listening to the voice, examinations by the ear, nose and throat doctor and further laryngoscopy. In addition, a survey of those affected can provide important information for the clear diagnosis of voice disorders (dysphonia). During a laryngoscopy, the larynx is mirrored, i.e. viewed directly with an appropriate device.

Complications

Voice disorders can occur for many different reasons, so potential complications can also arise. In most cases, voice disorders are caused by an infection, so that different side effects can occur at the same time. These said side effects include long-lasting and stabbing headaches, nausea, vomiting and an elevated temperature.

If these side effects remain completely without medical treatment, the symptoms will increase significantly. Severe sore throat is also a complication that can often be associated with a voice disorder. If existing sore throats remain without any treatment, pus fluid can even form.

The affected person will find it very difficult to speak as any strain on the vocal cords will cause severe pain. The pus fluid that occurs may settle in the throat, making it very difficult to cough up. If a doctor is consulted when pain occurs when speaking, possible complications can be avoided at an early stage or effectively combated.

In the worst case, permanent damage can even remain if you do without a visit to the doctor. For this reason, medical or drug treatment makes sense and is essential if possible complications are to be avoided.

When should you go to the doctor?

If the person concerned suffers from a sore throat, swallowing disorders or a feeling of tightness in the throat, a doctor should be consulted. If the pronunciation can no longer take place as usual, there is a health impairment that must be diagnosed and treated. If food can no longer be ingested and consumed as usual, there is a need for action. A scratchy throat, hoarse voice, or loss of normal vocal power is a condition. If there is coughing, sputum production or swelling in the throat area, a doctor is needed to clarify the cause.

If unwanted background noise occurs when speaking, the color of the voice changes or the person concerned has no control over the flow of the voice, a doctor should be consulted. If emotional or mental irregularities occur as a result of the voice disorders, the person concerned needs help. Sleep disorders, inner restlessness or a general feeling of being unwell are signs of an existing health impairment.

If the symptoms persist for a long time or if they get worse over the course of several days, a doctor should be informed of the observations. Exhaustion, a decrease in the usual performance and an inner weakness are further signs of an existing illness. In order to create a treatment plan, a diagnosis is required.

Treatment & Therapy

In addition to medication, surgical treatments and voice therapy procedures are recommended for the treatment of voice disorders. These depend on the extent of the dysphonia. Sometimes the voice disturbances go away on their own. If the voice disorders are organic, operations such as removing vocal cord nodules or polyps on the vocal cords can also promise success.

Voice exercises or electrotherapy procedures are used to treat vocal cord paralysis as the cause of voice disorders. In the case of damage to the vocal tract, voice and breathing exercises are considered sensible therapeutic measures against dysphonia.

In addition, psychotherapeutic treatments can also be helpful in some cases to treat the voice disorders caused by mental problems. In many cases, a combination of appropriate applications is suitable for permanently curing dysphonia.

Prevention

An important component in preventing acquired voice disorders is using the voice in everyday life more efficiently and as gently as possible for the vocal part. This applies in particular to avoiding overloading the vocal cords as a prophylaxis of voice disorders.

Especially in professions with a permanent strain on the voice, it is necessary to learn special speaking and breathing techniques in order to prevent voice disorders. Other ways to avoid dysphonia in time are reduced tobacco consumption and prolonged exposure to dusty environments. Very hot or spicy foods and dehydration of the mucous membranes should also be avoided.

Processes that are sometimes unconscious, such as clearing your throat and coughing, as well as constantly speaking softly, have a very favorable effect on the development of voice disorders (dysphonia). Therefore, speaking clearly and in pauses should be used.

Aftercare

If the voice disorder has to be treated by surgery, for example if there are nodules in the vocal cords, follow-up care is required. Voice rehabilitation takes place. In the first 10 to 14 days after the operation, it is important to consistently rest the voice. Following this period of rest, a special voice exercise therapy should begin.

It is necessary in order to bring the affected voice back to the usual stress level after the operation. The timely start of exercise therapy plays an important role in this. It can have a negative effect on the voice if the treatment starts too early or is carried out too intensively.

As part of voice therapy, the patient is freed from the overpressure patterns that arise in his voice. Even after the procedure, the hyperfunctional vocal patterns, which were often the trigger of the voice disorder, are basically still present. So that the physiological voice function can be restored in the long term, differentiated voice exercise treatments are required.

In order to rule out the risk of a renewed voice disorder, the follow-up treatment must not be too short and must be of the appropriate quality. The response of the voice to the exercises and the results of the voice sound are the focus of the therapy.

You can do that yourself

Voice disorders can occur over the course of life for a variety of reasons. For this reason, they should be viewed by every human being as a natural process. It is part of human development that the color of the voice and the pronunciation change several times over the course of life. If the changes are perceived as unpleasant by those affected, they should be aware at the beginning that this is often a temporary phenomenon. They occur in phases of hormonal changes or in the case of illness and usually regulate themselves within a few weeks or months.

If the irregularities persist, speech therapy can help. In addition, you can work independently on changing the vocal environment outside of the treatment hours. Targeted training and exercises help with changes and can be used independently by those affected. In addition, risk factors for changing the voice should be minimized. The intake of nicotine in active or passive form leads to voice disorders. Therefore areas where people smoke are to be avoided.

Supportive measures can be taken at an early stage, especially at the turn of the year, to avoid catching a cold. There are a variety of methods that lead to improved vocal color and power. If the person concerned wants it, he can use it for himself.

Voice Disorders