Voice Evaluation

Voice Evaluation

Comprehensive Voice Evaluation, Singing Voice Evaluation

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Voice specialists at Duke Voice Care conduct a thorough evaluation to find out what’s causing your voice problems and what treatment options may be most effective for you. Appointments are available in Durham and Raleigh.

Based on the results of your evaluation and the way you use your voice -- professionally or for everyday communication -- your voice care team will recommend a treatment approach personalized to be most effective for you. This may include some combination of medical or surgical care, voice therapy, and/or singing and performing voice services.

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Comprehensive Voice Evaluation

Duke Voice Care is one of the few voice programs in the Southeast with a comprehensive team of voice experts working together to provide the highest quality voice care. Our team includes laryngologists -- ear, nose, and throat (ENT) physicians who have advanced training in voice disorders -- as well as specially trained speech-language pathologists who are skilled in voice care. To complete a comprehensive evaluation of your voice, you will meet with the laryngologist and the speech pathologist. Our team will assess:

  • How and when your voice problem started 
  • Medical causes for your voice problem, such as illness, allergies, acid reflux, or surgery
  • Your voice use patterns: how much you speak, sing, or use a loud voice
  • What your voice sounds like: hoarse, raspy, weak, strained, breathy, shaky, etc.
  • Any changes to your breathing or swallowing

We'll also do a thorough examination of your head and neck and a visual examination of your voice box.

Singing Voice Evaluation

Whether you are a professional or someone who sings for pleasure, our thorough singing voice evaluation will also assess your:

  • Pitch/vocal range
  • Loudness range
  • Vocal stamina
  • Breath support
  • Resonance
  • Register transitions

Our clinical singing voice specialists -- speech pathologists with additional training in vocal performance and singing voice rehabilitation -- will identify any muscle patterns that may be contributing to your voice problem and evaluate your vocal technique relative to your singing style. We also identify strategies to optimize your vocal hygiene and vocal pacing. If needed, we will advocate for your vocal health with directors, producers, tour managers, and other artistic personnel.

If you are a performer and have an urgent need for a voice evaluation prior to a performance, please call 919-681-4984 to arrange a timely evaluation.

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This detailed visual exam helps us evaluate how your vocal cords vibrate while you speak or sing. A tiny camera attached to a small tube called an endoscope is inserted through your nose and allows us to see your vocal cords and larynx (voice box). A flashing strobe light simulates slow motion video images of your vocal cords. The exam takes only about a minute, and your nose may be sprayed with topical anesthetic for your comfort.

The exam allows your team to look for lesions, stiffness, paralysis, irregular movements, throat strain, incomplete closure of the vocal cords, or other physical contributors to your voice problem. After the exam, your team will review the images with you to determine an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan together.

Laryngovideostroboscopy can be essential to reaching an accurate diagnosis and determining the best treatment for your voice. It is not typically available at non-specialist ENT centers.

Computerized Acoustic Analysis

If voice therapy is recommended for you, this non-invasive exam is completed at your second clinic visit. It creates a visual display on a computer screen as you speak into a microphone. You and your speech pathologist can see characteristics of your voice, including pitch, loudness, and vocal quality. This test is used to identify abnormalities, including subtle vocal problems that cannot be detected with the unaided ear. It may be repeated during treatment to monitor your progress.

Duke University Hospital is nationally ranked in 10 adult specialties
Consistently Ranked Among the Nation’s Best Hospitals
In addition, Duke University Hospital is proud to be named the best hospital in North Carolina, and nationally ranked in 10 adult and 9 pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report for 2019–2020.
Reviewed: 02/01/2018