Voice Disorders and Preservation

Voice Disorders and Preservation

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Medical Intel Podcast from Washington Hospital Center - Advancements in healthcare that could make a difference for you and your family.

Voice Disorders and Preservation

One in six Americans has a communication disability. For many, it’s a voice disorder due to overuse and strain of the vocal cords.

We often associate voice disorders with professional singers or actors. But the truth is, injuries are just as common for teachers or tour guides – really anyone who uses their voice for a living.

Speech therapy from a speech-language pathologist is a critical part of any treatment and may be the only treatment you will need. Therapy typically includes learning proper vocal techniques, eliminating behaviors that harm the voice, and stress reduction solutions.

Common voice preservation suggestions we recommend:

  • Use proper breath support and voice projection techniques
  • Keep yourself adequately hydrated
  • Avoid talking in noisy situations over background noise, including music, office equipment or noisy classrooms
  • Move close to the listener and face them so you can be heard without yelling
  • Use non-vocal ways to attract attention (e.g clap, ring a bell, blow a whistle)
  • Wait until the listener/students/audience is attentive and quiet before speaking
  • Don’t force speech when you have hoarseness
  • Don’t address large audiences without proper amplification
  • Don’t speak extensively during strenuous physical exercise

The Hearing and Speech Center at MedStar Washington Hospital Center provides a full range of audiology and speech services. We utilize state-of-the-art technology in the evaluation and management of our patients. The Center has been providing speech, language, and hearing services to the Washington, D.C., metro community for more than 50 years.

Our team includes eight audiologists and eight speech-language pathologists, who have more than 75 years of combined experience. They each possess an advanced degree in audiology or speech-language pathology from an accredited university, are highly trained, and hold national certification from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

To schedule an appointment, call


As heard on WTOP Radio:

Donna Saur, MA, CCC-SLP


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