Vegas Voice Institute September 2023
As we age, muscles get weak. Vocal folds are no different. The normal aging process can affect vocal folds and cause atrophy in the muscles. While this is considered normal, too much atrophy can cause problems for your voice. When the muscles weaken, the vocal folds will decrease in elasticity and develop a “bowed” look.
Some symptoms that may develop and cause you to need a speech pathologist are the following:
- Hoarse voice
- Throat clearing
- Quiet voice
- Breathy voice
- Swallowing problems (even aspiration)
- Men may notice higher pitched voice and women may develop lower pitched voice
While presbylarynx is part of the normal aging process. Presbyphonia is abnormal. Any time someone experiences poor voice quality, it is abnormal. While some weakening of the vocal cords is to be expected, too much will cause disruptions in the voice. A voice evaluation and voice therapy with a speech pathologist may be necessary if problems with the voice begin to occur.
How Presbyphonia is Diagnosed
In order to find out if you have presbyphonia or presbylarynx, you will have to be evaluated by an otolaryngologist (ENT) and/or speech pathologist. A stroboscopy and voice evaluation will need to take place to assess your vocal cords and your voice quality.
A videostroboscopy is when a camera is inserted into your mouth or nose to look at your vocal cords. It flashes a strobe light onto your vocal cords to slow down the vibration so that each vibration cycle is visible to the human eye. During a stroboscopy, the strength of the vocal cords can be assessed and presbylarynx and other voice disorders can be identified.
Next, a voice evaluation is performed to assess acoustic, aerodynamic, and perceptual measurements of the voice. The voice evaluation provides the speech pathologist with information about severity of the voice disorder. It is also when the speech pathologist will be able to see if the patient is stimulable for therapy.
Basically, the speech pathologist wants to make sure that the patient is a good candidate for speech therapy before having the patient start a therapy program.
How Presbyphonia is Treated
Every recommendation is based on the specific patient. Depending on different factors the patients may be recommended for different frequencies and lengths of therapy programs. The severity and longevity of the problem as well as the patient’s success and ability to perform the exercises will ultimately determine how long therapy will take.
What is Voice Therapy
Voice therapy comes in different shapes and sizes and it can look different for everyone. When working with presbyphonia, we typically address strengthening the muscles and decreasing muscle tension. A speech pathologist will curate a plan of care that addresses the specific deficits and needs of each patient.
Where Can I get Voice Therapy
It’s important to see a speech pathologist who is qualified to treat voice disorders. At Vegas Voice Institute, all of our speech pathologists are qualified to evaluate and treat voice disorders. Vegas Voice Institute is speech pathology office specialized in the treatment of voice and swallowing disorders.
Every speech therapy office is different and finding the right speech therapist to treat your voice disorder is important to the success of your therapy. You should ask the person treating you if they treat voice disorders regularly.
Finding a speech pathologist shouldn’t be difficult. Ask your doctor or google voice therapy in your area to find someone. You will have to be referred by your doctor to see a speech pathologist. Start by asking them and do your research!
Vegas Voice Institute
Vegas Voice Institute is a speech therapy clinic located in Las Vegas, Nevada. We offer voice, swallowing, and language therapy. Therapy can be provided in person at the clinic as well as virtually through telepractice, if you live far from the city. If you feel like you are having voice problems, hoarseness, or have developed a quiet voice, have your doctor refer you to Vegas Voice Institute to help you improve your communication today.