Speech & Hearing - Voice

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A voice disorder is characterized by abnormal vocal pitch, loudness, quality or resonance. Indications for a ENT and/or speech referral include:

  • A voice that is chronically hoarse, harsh, breathy or of poor quality
  • A voice that is always too loud of soft
  • The pitch is inappropriate for the child's age or sex
  • Pitch breaks occur frequently
  • The voice is hyponasal or hypernasal

Hypernasality & Hyponasality
Hypernasality and Hyponsality are resonance disorders, caused by a dysfunction of the velopharyngeal mechanism.

Velopharyngeal Incompetence
Velopharyngeal incompetence is the inability of the velum and related musculature to close the nasopharynx, separating the oral and nasal cavities for the production of oral consonants. This can be caused by a deficiency of the velum or an increased size or the pharynx. Possible symptoms of velopharyngeal incompetence include hypernasality, hyponasality, nasal air escape, reduced oral pressure for consonants, compensatory articulation including: glottal stops, pharyngeal fricatives, and nasal snorts.

Vocal Nodules
Is your child a yeller or screamer? Does your child have allergies? Thyroid imbalance? Gastroesophageal reflux or chronic indigestion? If so, your child just might be at risk for developing vocal fold nodules or polyps. Speech-language pathologists have identified more than 100 adjectives to describe the voices of people with nodules or polyps. The most frequently used words are hoarse, rough, breathy, scratchy, and harsh. Some individuals complain of shooting pain from ear to ear, a "lump in the throat" sensation, or neck pain. Some people, especially singers, notice that the pitch range of the voice is decreased in the upper, higher range. Others report fatigue in the voice or general body fatigue, possibly from the effort of talking.

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Education Links

» ENT Glossary
» ENT Problems
» Speech & Hearing
» Common Surgeries
» Post-Op Instructions


Clinic Locations

Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic
University Hospital Clinics Building
1005 Harborside Drive
Galveston, Texas

Ear, Nose & Throat Consultants
Brittany Plaza
1600 West League City Parkway, Suite D
League City, Texas

Family HealthCare Center
Mainland Crossing
9300 Emmett F. Lowry Expressway
Texas City, Texas

For an appointment,
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