Thursday, November 9, 2017

What to Do About Aphasia and Voice Difficulties

What To Do About Aphasia and Voice Dificulties 

Aphasia and Voice Difficulties while Speaking
Voice Difficulties Occur with Aphasia
while speaking.
 Aphasia often comes from a direct insult to the brain such as those who experience a stroke or
cerebrovascular accident. It is often common with head trauma from an accident or injury. It involves diminished ability to express oneself in speech and language or the ability to write. It also may affect the ability to understand spoken or written language

Aphasia and The Voice While Speaking

 The voice also ties into the speaking mechanism. It involves the vibration of the vocal cords. For the voice to properly function the vocal cords must adduct or come together and vibrate within a set frequency. If there is any weakness in the body such as paralysis or weakness on either side, it could affect either the vocal cord on that side of the body or both cords. When there is weakness on one side of the body it often affects most of the bodily structures on that side. If one of the vocal cords or the larynx is weak, or not getting a full  signal from the brain to the muscles in speaking, the result could be a lack of full range of motion such as those experienced with the tongue, lips, or vocal cords.  If there is a lack of closure in the cords the result is a hoarse or breathy voice. In some cases there can be an aphonia or lack of voice since the vocal cords are not closing completely when the person with aphasia or stroke attempts to speak.

 Swallowing and Voice Difficulties Can Occur with Aphasia

 There are cases where there has been a stroke or aphasia with little bodily weakness or paralysis. The person may look physically normal, however have difficulty expressing or understanding speech and langauge. What may be worse is a an additional voice or swalloing difficulty.

If the vocal cords do not move in the way intended it often means that either the voice box is not elevating or the vocal cords may not be completely closing. As stated this may cause hoarseness, raspiness or no voice at all.   When this occurs swallowing difficulties are common,

What to Do For Those Who Have Aphasia and Voice Difficulties While Speaking

1.  Often a competent Voice Therapist can address the speaking voice if there is a voice difficulty.
2.  Voice therapists are familiar with how the voice can be improved and the ways to get better movement or closure of the vocal cords.
3.  Always seek out an ENT (Otolaryngologist) doctor for a proper diagnosis as to why the vocal cords are not working properly.  Sometimes it can be caused by growths on the vocal cords or weakness from stroke and aphasia.
4.  In cases where there is a voice difficulty it is always prudent to consult with with a speech pathologist who has Voice Therapy experience and is certified by the American Speech Language Hearing Association or the certifying association of the country you are in.  If you are not familiar with where to go, look up Speech Language Pathologists who specialize in the speaking voice.

People Who Have Aphasia and Voice Difficulties Often Don't Know What to Do or Where To Go

This article was inspired by a gentleman who had aphasia and voice problems while speaking.  When attempting to speak with stimulation, only a faint whisper was attempted.  He had not been talking for  many years and now, with voice therapy is able to produce a full voice with his wife who is being trained to facilitate speech and voice.  Prior to this, no one had ever addressed his inability to use the voice. (aphonia)

What To Do:  We Can Also Help You

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