Nothing is more central to helping us communicate than our voice; who we are, what we feel, our questions, concerns, hopes and dreams are best told through our voices. And, voice goes well beyond talking to singing, screaming, laughing, and crying. So, if our voice isn’t working properly it presents a number of communication hurdles for us.
The voice process starts with the lung (the pump) that must produce adequate airflow and air pressure to vibrate vocal folds. The vocal folds (vocal cords) are a vibrating valve that chops up the airflow from the lungs into audible pulses that form the laryngeal sound source. The muscles of the larynx adjust the length and tension of the vocal folds to ‘fine tune’ pitch and tone. The articulators (the parts of the vocal tract above the larynx consisting of tongue, palate, cheek, lips, etc.) articulate and filter the sound emanating from the larynx and to some degree can interact with the laryngeal airflow to strengthen it or weaken it as a sound source.
There are many disorders that affect the human voice; these include speech impediments, growths and lesions on the vocal folds, laryngitis, and vocal fold paralysis. There is a laundry list of causes including viruses, injury, overuse, nodules, polyps, and tumors. Any vocal problem that persists for more than a week should be examined. At Wagner ENT we have been treating vocal disorders for over 20 years and possess the latest technology to test and examine vocal issues. If you are suffering from a vocal issue, contact us to schedule an examination and consultation.