This month, Vegas Voice Institute celebrates Better Speech and Hearing Month. Each May, Better Speech and Hearing Month allows Speech Pathologists to raise awareness about communication disorders and the role Speech Language Pathologists have in treatment. Whether it be communication or eating, speech pathologists help those who can no longer take those two simple tasks for granted.
Speech therapy comes in all shapes and sizes. Speech Therapy can be provided for those with strokes, dementia, Parkinson Disease, and others. In speech, you might see us helping people learn how to use language again, improve their speech, or improve their memory and cognition.
Vegas Voice Institute also has speech pathologists who specialize in working with patients who have swallowing and voice disorders. Helping people relearn how to eat and swallow is a life-altering therapy that allows patients to join the dining table with their family again.
We don’t realize how much of our day is spent at a table where we eat or at events like weddings or family parties. We work with patients who have recently had pneumonia or breathing problems causing problems such as aspiration pneumonia or choking when eating in speech therapy. We also work with patients after radiation who have had cancer of the head and neck. These patients often are unable to use their muscles to eat and have a tube in their stomach for nutrition. Our NMES Vital Stim treatments and dysphagia treatments help restore their function so they can eat and drink again. Providing speech therapy to allow patients to rejoin the family dinner is challenging and rewarding work.
Voice therapy includes working with professional voice users, singers, or people who just have a hoarse voice. You don’t have to be a famous singer or tv analyst for the Vegas Golden Knights or the Las Vegas Raiders to need voice therapy. Having a hoarse voice isn’t “typical” and we can usually help with reducing hoarseness in your voice.
Many of our patients have difficulty controlling their breath when exercising or cough often requiring speech therapy to increase their voice and breath control which is called vocal cord dysfunction. We also help patients who are experiencing voice weakness after COVID-19 when they have trouble projecting their voice or getting air in when speaking.
Speech language pathologists work in many different settings including acute hospitals, inpatient rehab, schools, and nursing homes. There are also outpatient rehab centers, like Vegas Voice Institute, where patients come for treatment. Speech therapy can now be provided through a combination of telehealth and in-person therapy for most areas.
If you or someone you know needs speech therapy, you can ask your doctor for a recommendation for a local speech language pathologist. Payment for speech therapy services can be covered by private insurances like Aetna, Blue Cross, P3, Medicare, and others or can be paid out-of-pocket.
Better Speech and Hearing Month isn’t about celebrating speech pathologists even though our team of speech-language pathologists are fabulous, highly trained, and effective in their jobs. It’s about raising awareness about how quality of life can be improved through speech therapy. Everyone deserves to be able to communicate effectively and eat safely.