Medical Voice

The voice is a highly responsive part of who we are. When we are having medical or emotional imbalances, it shows first in our voices. Every variation of the human condition can effect a person’s voice. Many times it’s allergies, reflux, or the common cold. But more serious conditions can also effect the voice.

Daniel McCabe is the Chief Vocologist at the Grabscheid Voice Center where he specializes in the treatment of medical voice conditions (dysphonias). Voice therapy is a specialized part of Medical speech pathology, and involves knowledge of vocal tissues, the types of damage they can suffer, methods of treating those factors, and most importantly, how to help guide your voice back into a healthy state after injury. A voice therapist works with a specialized ENT (laryngologist) who herself has a fellowship specializing in phonosurgery. The phonosurgeon and the voice therapist work together to help heal tissue damage – the phonosurgeon using medical means of treatment such as medications and/or surgery, and the voice therapist using therapy to help those tissues heal correctly, and to help the patient learn to make the best use of these new tissues. It’s uncommon for a medical voice problem to be completely due to physical damage, so there is always a need for therapy in the process of recovery.

Many types of vocal fold injuries can be healed or lessened just with therapy. Some of these include vocal nodules or polyps, vocal fold scarring. These types of injuries are usually the result of phonotrauma, or tissue damage resulting from the vibration of the vocal folds. Other times, more severe conditions such as structural damage or nerve damage can also be aided tremendously through patient-specific vocal exercises. You’d be surprised – there are many active performers out there with a paralyzed or weakened vocal cord who are continuing their careers!