The most common cause of vocal problems is called “vocal abuse.” 5% of school age children are considered to have voice problems caused by misuse of the voice. Types of misuse include:• screaming and yell during recess, sporting events, and playtime •prolonged vocal abuse can result in “vocal nodules” (which is a growths on the vocal cords) • allergies, sinus, and adenoid problems affect their vocal quality • decongestants and antihistamines can dry out the vocal chords.
Types of vocal qualities/symptoms:
hoarseness • harshness/low in pitch and very strained • breathiness/whisper-like noise • pitch breaks/pitch goes up and down • low volume • denasal/ “stuffed up” • dry cough • persistent throat clearing • a voice problem which persists for 2-3 weeks
Voice Disorders are treated by a Speech-Language Pathologist. An ENT will examine the child to rule out any growths on the vocal cords. In some cases, the child may need to have surgery remove nodules. In other cases, speech therapy can determine if the growth will shrink with a reduction in vocal abuse. Voice therapy programs usually last about 8-12 weeks. In therapy, children will be asked to have periods of vocal rest 3-5 times a day as well as learn strategies to reduce vocal abuse.
Hope this was helpful! Have a great weekend! 🙂