Normal Voice Production
The voice box – Larynx - which house the vocal cords is situated in the neck. Normally the vocal cords are held apart for breathing. In voice production they move together, so that the gap between them is narrowed. The outgoing breath then passes between the cords, and sets them vibrating. As they vibrate, they produce a sound, which is modified by the movable speech organs e.g. the tongue and lips, to produce speech.
Use of Voice Therapy
Voice therapy is effective either alone in certain specific voice disorders, or following surgery to the voice box to enable the healing to occur effectively and to prevent recurrence of the original problem in the future.
Voice Therapy Programme
At your consultation with Mr Murty's speech and language therapist, your voice production and vocal hygiene will be fully explored and a customised programme planned. Your progress will be monitored and 2 – 6 sessions will usually be required. When the programme is complete you will be required to make a further outpatient appointment with Mr Murty for final review.
At its most extreme, voice rest involves an initial period of between 4 - 7 days using the voice no more than 15 minutes in each 24 hour period. Relative voice rest means speaking no more than is absolutely necessary, being succinct when speaking, avoiding any loud use of the voice, keeping phone calls brief and avoiding any non speech voice use (ie throat clearing, coughing etc). No whispering, as this causes as much strain as yelling.
Maintaining Good Vocal Hygiene
High fat foods and diuretics should be restricted. You are advised to refrain from smoking. Drink plenty of water, avoid dehydration and reduce caffeine intake as this can affect the mucosa covering the vocal cords, potentially altering lubrication and vocal efficiency.
Avoid Vocal Strain
Avoid or modify bodily and environmental voice damaging environments as far as possible. Cancel non essential commitments as you risk vocal injury to an already troublesome vocal mechanism. Allow time for your voice to heal.