Causes of voice problems may include upper respiratory infections, acid reflux, vocal misuse or abuse, excessive voice use, vocal nodules, laryngeal cancer and neuromuscular diseases.
Symptoms may include:
- Limitations in the ability to speak for extended periods of time
- Inability to project the voice
- Periods of voice loss
- Chronic dry or scratchy throat
- Unpleasant pitch or tone
Anyone who experiences vocal change or hoarseness for more than two weeks should be examined by a physician, preferably an otolaryngologist.
Following an examination, the otolaryngologist may refer the individual to a speech-language pathologist (SLP).
The SLP will evaluate pitch, loudness and vocal quality and will assess vocal techniques.