Our voice forms a unique part of our persona. It is produced in the “voice box” or larynx that is located in the neck region (“Adam’s apple”). It possesses many distinctive characteristics such as pitch (tone), loudness, resonance and other qualities.
Voice can become a problem when it calls attention to itself or when it is a struggle to speak. This can develop at any age. There are many causes of voice problems – e.g., misuse through inefficient breathing; yelling; throat clearing; damage due to trauma or disease; exposure to environmental toxins, etc. Symptoms may include vocal fatigue; a hoarse or raspy sounding vocal quality; a higher or lower pitch than usual; reduced range of vocal pitch; a softer sounding voice, etc.
If you experience changes to your voice, it is important to seek medical attention. Your doctor may refer you to an ear, nose and throat physician (ENT) for further evaluation. Speech therapy may be recommended to help you find effective ways to improve the way you use your voice and to identify any behaviors that can contribute to voice problems.
For more information, please see: www.osla.on.ca/en/voice