- What are voice disorders?
From time to time, children's voices may sound different than it usually does due to colds, allergies, or irritants. Speech Therapists become concerned when the student's voice persistently sounds different over a prolonged period of time. Voice disorders commonly occur as a result from vocal misuse and abuse overt time. When children yell, scream, talk loudly and forcefully, use too low or high of a pitch it strains the vocal folds. This strain of the vocal folds can result in swelling/edema which causes laryngitis or vocal nodules. This causes the voice to sound hoarse, breathy, or harsh. If these types of vocal abuse continues it can lead to the child not being able to produce voice at all.
- So what can we do to protect our voices?
1. Drink water often to keep vocal folds hydrated
2. Avoid caffeine and spicy foods
3. Avoid making noises during pretend play such as motor of a boat or car
4. Avoid shouting (while playing at recess and at home)
5. Avoid excess coughing and throat clearing
6. Seek the counsel of an ENT if voice concerns persist beyond two-three weeks
(These are general suggestions that everyone can practice to preserve their voice. A complete evaluation by an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist is recommended before providing specific treatments.)