Losing Your Voice? It may not be what you think…

acid refluxWhen people develop a hoarse or raspy voice, they may point the finger at several culprits: shouting, talking for an extended period of time, the common cold. But one common source of vocal irritation often gets overlooked: acid reflux.

Typically when people think of acid reflux, they think of the burning, irritating digestive discomfort that accompanies it. What many people don’t realize is acid reflux can affect the voice as well. Reflux occurs when acid from the stomach escapes and flows up into the esophagus. In some cases, it flows even further upward, all the way into the throat, a condition called laryngopharyngeal reflux, or LPR. If person experiences LPR for an extended period of time, the presence of this acid can irritate the vocal chords, causing a weak or hoarse voice.

As with other vocal issues, a speech-language pathologist can help to rehabilitate a voice affected by LPR. First, the speech therapist will perform an evaluation, examining the current quality of the voice and what may be causing any difficulty in vocal production. A weak or breathy voice may, in part, be aided by speech-language therapy, in which the therapist assists the patient in exercises intended to improve vocal function and strengthen the overall quality of the voice. The speech-language pathologist will also offer counseling for improving vocal hygiene to help reduce the effects of LPR on the voice. In addition to seeking voice therapy from a speech pathologist, a person suffering from LPR should also seek help from their doctor in reducing the reflux itself.

For information on our New York based Speech-Language Pathology services, please call Speech Associates of New York today at (212)308-7725 or visit our website at www.speechassociatesofny.com and find out how our team of professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists can help!

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