Voice therapy has been demonstrated to be effective for hoarseness across the lifespan from children to older adults (Ramig & Verdolini, 1998; Thomas & Stemple, 2007).  Voice therapy is the first line of treatment for vocal fold lesions like vocal nodules, polyps, or cysts (Anderson & Sataloff, 2002; Johns, 2003. These lesions often occur in people with vocally intense occupations like teachers, attorneys, or clergymen (Roy et al., 2001). Another possible cause of these lesions is vocal overdoing often seen in sports enthusiasts; in socially active, aggressive, or loud children; or in high-energy adults who often speak loudly (Boone et al., 2005; Rubin et al.,  2006; Stemple et al., 2000; Trani et al., 2007).

Voice therapy, specifically the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment method, has been demonstrated to be the most effective method of treating the lower volume, lower energy, and rapid rate of speech in persons with Parkinson’s disease (Dromey et al., 1995; Fox et al., 2006). Voice therapy has been used to treat hoarseness concurrently with other medical therapies like botulinum toxin injections for spasmodic dysphonia and/or tremor (American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, 2005; Murry & Woodson, 1995; Pearson & Sapienza,2003).

Voice therapy has been used alone in the treatment of unilateral vocal fold paralysis (Miller, 2004; Schindler et al., 2008) and has been used to improve the outcome of surgical procedures as in vocal fold augmentation (Rosen, 2000) or thyroplasty (Billiante et al., 2002).  Voice therapy is an important component of any comprehensive surgical treatment for hoarseness (Branski & Murray, 2008).

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Category: Speech, Voice Therapy

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