Speech Voice and Swallowing Therapy

A senior woman is talking on her cellphone while sitting next to her husband.We offer treatment for speech, voice, cognitive and swallowing difficulties. Our expert therapists will evaluate, diagnose and treat disorders, and provide education to ensure maximum benefits from therapy.

Voice Disorders

Because a voice disorder may be a symptom of an underlying condition, it’s important that you’re also seen by an otolaryngologist (also known as an ear, nose and throat doctor or ENT) to diagnose any medical aspects of the problem. If voice therapy is recommended, individualized sessions will teach you the techniques necessary to use your voice more efficiently. Common symptoms of voice disorders include:

  • Hoarseness
  • Loss of voice
  • Difficulty being heard or understood
  • Tired or painful neck muscles after talking
  • Shortness of breath when speaking
  • Being mistaken for the opposite gender on the phone.

Voice Disorders Therapy

Videostroboscopy is a procedure performed by a speech language pathologist via a rigid or flexible HD laryngoscope.

  • Provides a magnified view of the larynx and simulates slow-motion vibration of the vocal folds.
  • Facilitates the identification of various vocal cord conditions and abnormities.
  • Performed in conjunction with a full voice evaluation.

Lee Silverman Voice Treatment–LOUD Program (LSVT® LOUD): A scientifically documented program for treating voice and speech disorders for people with Parkinson’s disease and other similar neurological conditions. LSVT LOUD can improve both the voice and speech of individuals with Parkinson’s disease by focusing on improving vocal loudness. Our speech therapists are LSVT LOUD certified.

Swallowing Problems

Difficulty swallowing is called dysphagia. Some causes of eating and swallowing problems include damage to the nervous system (stroke, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer’s disease) and problems affecting the head and neck (including cancer in the mouth or throat, head/neck injury or surgery). This may result in:

  • Poor nutrition and/or dehydration/weight loss
  • Difficulty gaining weight
  • Risk of aspiration (food or liquid entering the airway), which can lead to pneumonia or chronic lung disease
  • Less enjoyment of eating or drinking
  • Embarrassment or isolation in social situations involving eating

Swallowing Evaluations and Treatments

Our speech therapists are certified and use many different tools to help you with swallowing:

  • Video Fluoroscopic Swallowing Study (VFSS): Performed with X-Ray to assesses oral, pharyngeal and cervical esophageal dynamics of swallowing, and examines the effects of swallowing treatment strategies
  • Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES): Assesses how well a patient swallows and is also used to examine how certain treatment options may work.
  • VitalStim®: An FDA-approved swallowing disorders treatment with specialized neuromuscular electrical stimulation designed to stimulate swallowing muscles. Our speech therapists are VitalStim certified.
  • Expiratory Muscle Strength Trainer (EMST-150): Training may help improve swallowing and cough strength.
  • Iowa Oral Performance Instrument (IOPI): Evaluation objectively measures lip and tongue strength, as well as providing biofeedback.
  • Surface Electromyography (sEMG): Use of visual biofeedback allows for the measuring of the “strength” or muscle contraction of the swallow muscles.

To find the nearest location offering speech, voice, or swallowing therapy, please call: (813) 443-8028