Voice Disorders

Voice Disorders

Voice disorders can have a major impact on the daily life of an individual, both personally and professionally. No matter the origin of the disorder, a speech-language pathologist can help you reduce or eliminate the impact.

A voice disorder occurs when the voice of an individual sounds atypical to them in terms of voice quality, tone, intensity or range. In addition, when the voice is unable to respond to the demands of day-to-day activities, we consider there to be a problem with the voice. Individuals frequently use their voice in a professional context are more at risk of feeling a greater impact due to a voice disorder.

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Classification of Voice Disorders

Depending on the origin of the problem, voice disorders are classified as such :

Organic Cause : Changes to the voice, larynx or respiration mechanisms.

  • Structural Origin: Physical changes in the vocal mechanism, such as nodules, or oedema on the vocal cords, or vocal fold changes due to ageing.
  • neurogenic origin: problems due to peripheral or central nervous system difficulties. These symptoms come from the nerves that action the vocal mechanisms (for example : a paralysis of the vocal cords (bilateral or unilateral).

Functional Cause  : These are difficulties that are due to abuse or insufficient vocal technique to respond to daily vocal needs.

The quality of your voice can also be affected by psychological stressors that can lead to dysphonia or aphonia (no voice). Although these are rare, a follow-up in recommended with a support professional, such a psychologist as well as a speech-language pathologist.

Vocal Disorder Treatment :
When to seek help?

As soon as your vocal quality starts to affect your choice of activities, in your personal or professional life, it is time to see a speech-language pathologist. An evaluation as soon as possible in the evolution of your voice is best to reduce the impact on your day-to-day activities and to return your voice to a healthy state, if possible. There is great variability in the length of intervention. Some people require simply a few sessions intensively at the beginning of the intervention, others require sessions spaced out in order to integrate permanent and long-lasting changes in their habits. A personalized approach is always used at the Centre Mosaïque de Québec to provide adequate support and rehabilitative services.

There are 2 approaches to vocal therapy. The first focuses on reducing the demands on the voice and eliminating abusive habits. This approach is collaborative with your speech language pathologist in order to better understand what factors can affect your voice and what changes are realistic in your routine.

The second approach focuses on developing a better vocal technique. Depending on the origin of the problem, your speech-language pathologist will select vocal exercises to address the vocal issue and enable you to use your voice fully.

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Vocal Therapy for a transgender individual

Is it only for the feminization of the voice?

Although most frequently trans men are satisfied with the vocal changes due to hormone therapy, it is possible to work the masculinisation of the voice in speech-language pathology. . However, the most frequent request is the feminisation of the voice. The therapy for feminisation of the voice affects many aspects of communication such as intonation, tone, articulation, resonance, word choice, and conversation topics. It is a process that gradually changes the way the vocal tract is used. Being followed in speech-language pathology allows you to find your own individual sound without putting the vocal cords at risk of damage.

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Vocal therapy is a solution that can allow for a greater control of factors that can affect the voice. Whether it is to perfect your vocal technique within a professional context, or to rediscover a better vocal quality, the speech-language pathologists are here to help you find solutions to your own individual vocal needs.

Make an appointment

The Centre Mosaïque is committed to providing prompt care to meet your needs. Feel free to contact us to find out how our speech therapists can help you.