Voice specialists at Duke Voice Care Center conduct a thorough evaluation to find out what’s causing your voice problems. 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 voice therapy, medical or surgical care, and/or singing and performing voice services.
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.
Comprehensive Voice Evaluation
Duke Voice Care Center is one of the few voice programs in the Southeast with a comprehensive team of 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 pathologists who are skilled in voice care. To complete a comprehensive evaluation of your voice, you will meet with a laryngologist and 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
- Register transitions
Our clinical singing voice specialists -- speech pathologists with additional training in vocal performance and singing instruction -- will evaluate factors that may be contributing to your voice problem, such as the amount and intensity of singing, singing environments, or lifestyle. 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.
Voice Evaluation Tests
This detailed visual exam helps us evaluate how your vocal cords, also known as vocal folds, 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.
Videolaryngostroboscopy is essential to reach an accurate diagnosis and determine the best treatment for your voice. It is not typically available at non-specialist ENT centers.
Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why we are once again recognized as the best hospital in North Carolina, and nationally ranked in 11 adult and 9 pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report for 2023–2024.