Does this sound familiar?

  • Do you often lose your voice?
  • Do you have trouble projecting your voice?
  • Has your voice been hoarse, raspy or breathy for more than 3 weeks?
  • Do you feel as though your voice gets "tired" or "strained after prolonged talking?
  • Is your voice problem affecting your personal or professional life?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions you might be at risk for developing a voice disorder. Your voice plays an important role in the way we communicate, express our emotions and establish our individuality. A voice problem can significantly change the way that you feel about yourself and how you view your communication with others. People often wait to seek professional help about a voice problem until it begins to affect them at work. This may be especially true for professional voice users, including singers, teachers, coaches etc., but anyone experiencing a voice problem may find it difficult to communicate at home, at work, on the phone, etc.

Voice problems can develop for many reasons, including voice abuse or overuse, stress, infection, disease, acid reflux or a neurological pathology. Our patients include professional and non-professional singers, speakers, teachers, lawyers or anyone experiencing continued voice strain or loss.

Be good to your voice

  • Identify situations when you strain your voice
  • Try not to use loud, effortful speaking
  • Find substitutes for voice use in noisy situations
  • Reduce the overall amount of talking
  • Be sensitive to health factors: smoking, alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods can all affect your voice
  • ....and last but most importantly: drink a lot of water to keep your vocal cords lubricated!

If you have experienced a hoarse voice for more than 2 to 3 weeks, you should see your GP, who will then refer you to an ENT (Ear Nose Throat) specialist. ENT doctors can diagnose vocal nodules or any other voice pathology. If they diagnose a functional voice disorder they will usually refer you to us for a course of Voice Therapy. In our initial assessment we will assess vocal quality, pitch, loudness, ability to sustain voicing, and other characteristics of the voice. Voice therapy involves teaching good vocal hygiene, eliminating vocal abuses, and direct voice treatment to alter pitch, loudness, or breath support for good voicing as well as stress reduction techniques and relaxation exercises.