Published: Aug. 4, 2011
Updated: Aug. 4, 2011
Duke Voice Care Center offers voice therapy to strengthen and protect patients' voices. Below are answers to frequently asked questions related to voice therapy.
If you experience sudden or chronic changes to your voice, it is wise to be evaluated by a laryngologist and speech-language pathologist with special training in voice disorders. These professionals will determine if voice therapy is appropriate for you.
In short, yes! Research studies show that voice therapy is effective. However, therapy outcomes vary.
Achieving improvement in voice depends on daily practice of vocal exercises, improving vocal habits, and dedication to making recommended lifestyle changes. Patients who practice regularly and follow the recommendations will often experience great improvement.
At the initial voice evaluation, the laryngologist determines whether medical or surgical management is appropriate. The voice therapist provides recommendations for lifestyle and voice use changes to begin right away. At Duke Voice Care Center, patients are always given options on how to proceed with treatment.
The speed of improvement varies. Patients undergo anywhere from one to more than twelve sessions of voice therapy. Sessions are 45 minutes long and usually occur once per week.
The number of sessions depends on the type of voice disorder, distance the patient must travel, and scheduling flexibility. Closely following lifestyle recommendations and guidelines for daily practice can decrease the amount of voice therapy sessions needed.
The speech-language pathologist designs a practice routine that meets the patient’s specific needs and schedule. Fifteen to 30 minutes per day of focused practice four to five days per week usually results in significant improvement.
Most insurance companies cover voice therapy. Our insurance representative will determine if yours will.
Most patients who undergo surgery to the vocal folds also have several sessions of voice therapy. In these cases, voice therapy exercises before surgery help to optimize the outcome of surgery. Voice therapy following surgery not only helps heal the voice, but supports healthy vocal habits to avoid recurrence of the problem.