(KUTV) We have all experienced problems with our voices. Colds, allergies, cheering for your favorite sports teams can all result in a loss of your voice. However, if the problem doesn’t go away over time, you could have a voice disorder.
About 7 years ago, Leonard Orulliam started having problems with his voice. “I was taking care of my dad at the time and he is hard of hearing,” said Leonard. “Me not being able to talk loud and him not being able to hear, we had a lot of hand signs.”
Leonard could barely talk. Doctors suggested he had surgery to fix the problems with his voice. He had the surgery last year and has since found his voice again. Leonard is among many people who suffer from vocal disorders in the United States. Common symptoms of vocal disorders include hoarseness, persistent pain or sore throat with voice use, chronic cough or throat clearing.
Dan Houtz is a speech pathologist at the Voice Disorders Center here in Utah. He says age and cancer are just a few causes of vocal problems. “Sometimes a matter of abuse or overuse can cause some chronic swelling or low grade swelling.” Dan says there are three types of vocal problems: functional, structural, or neurological. In some cases, rest can correct the problem. In many cases, therapy or surgery may be needed. Dan says if you have problems with your voice, you need to talk to your doctor. “We take our voices for granted until we have a problem and it certainly can be life altering. It can compromise our employment and other aspects of our life.”
For more information on voice disorders, visit: http://healthcare.utah.edu/ent/ent_services/voice-disorders/index.php
For more information on Check Your Health, visit: www.checkyourhealth.org
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)