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Voice FAQs
 
When should I see a doctor?
If your voice symptoms last more than a few weeks or happen repeatedly, you should see a physician. This may initially be your family physician or internist who will most likely refer you to an otolaryngologist (ENT or Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor) for a more detailed evaluation.

What can I do on my own to improve my voice?
In addition to seeking medical treatment, diet changes, such as drinking more water and improving your diet overall may help your voice. Improving life habits, such as eliminating smoking and getting more sleep, may also help. In addition, incorporating voice “breaks” (voice rest periods) into your day as well as avoiding loud voice use may help your voice.

What is voice therapy?
Voice therapy is the standard treatment for many voice disorders. It is like physical therapy for the voice. It typically requires instruction sessions with a voice therapist (speech pathologist with voice expertise) and home practice. The improved voice is integrated into everyday conversational speech, making voice gains permanent.

How many visits will I need?
Voice therapy methods are constantly being updated; currently, voice therapy typically involves an initial voice evaluation followed by a maximum of 5-8 therapy sessions. Some clients need fewer sessions, some need more; the number of sessions will vary depending on individual diagnoses and circumstances.

How long will voice therapy last?
Voice therapy usually lasts several months over which maximum voice gains will occur. Again, this depends on the individual client’s diagnoses and circumstances.

What should I do if my voice doesn’t get better?
If your voice does not improve, there may be physical or behavioral circumstances preventing improvement. Physical factors may include an incorrect diagnosis, recent changes in the voice mechanism (vocal folds, larynx and surrounding structures), changes in the body (disease processes that may negatively affect the voice), or medication use that negatively impacts the voice. Behavioral factors may include inability to attend voice therapy sessions, emotional stresses, and/or other issues. All of these may require additional evaluation or second opinions to document and overcome.
 
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