Your voice is something that is unique to you.
Think of how many people in your life that you recognize by the sound of their voice – without ever seeing their face. That’s why you should take care of your voice and seek appropriate help when you experience problems. Southern Ohio Medical Center is proud to offer the SOMC Voice Lab as part of the services provided by our Speech and Hearing Department. The Voice Lab uses the latest in state-of-the-art technology to better identify conditions that may affect your voice.
Who will benefit from a Voice Study?
Voice disorders can affect people of all ages and backgrounds. Those at particular risk are people who use their voices frequently such as professional speakers, singers, teachers, coaches, politicians, attorneys, telephone operators, clergy, salespeople and cheerleaders. A voice study is of value to anyone who is having difficulty speaking and singing or who has had vocal cord surgery.
What are the signs of a voice disorder?
A variety of activities and medical conditions can cause a voice disorder including:
- Abuse or misuse of your voice
- Vocal cord nodules, polyps or cysts
- Infections or inflammation of the vocal cords
- History or suspicion of vocal cord cancer
- Radiation therapy to the neck and larynx
- Endotracheal intubation
- Vocal cord paralysis
- Neurological disorders: multiple sclerosis, ALS, head injury
- Laryngeal injury
- Head and neck surgery
- Laryngeal surgery
- Open heart surgery
What are some of the advantages of the new study over previous methods of evaluation?
The SOMC Voice Lab utilizes the latest in technology which allows us to identify voice disorders in their earliest stages. Some additional features which benefit both patient and physician include:
- Computerized recording and photographic reproduction
- Ability to compare pre and post treatment studies
- Sharp, clear, permanent color images of laryngeal function
- Visual aid for patient and service provider training
- Coordinated evaluation and treatment efforts by speech and language pathology and otolaryngology
What is the treatment for voice disorders?
Most individuals with voice disorders can be re-taught how to use their vocal cords and vocal tract to prevent further irritation and to improve the quality and effectiveness of their voice. Treatment is provided by qualified speech/language pathologists in the Speech and Hearing Department of Southern Ohio Medical Center. The length of treatment is determined on an individual basis.
Who performs the voice study?
Voice studies performed at the SOMC Voice Lab are performed by an otorhinolaryngologist and a qualified speech pathologist.
What does the study involve?
The voice study is an outpatient examination and may require topical anesthesia only. A rigid endoscope is used to view the vocal cords during normal speech. The study is painless and causes minimal discomfort.
Who should I contact about a voice study?
A physician referral is required for a voice study. To learn more, please call the Speech and Hearing Department at (740) 356-7655.