We have all experienced problems with our voices, times when the voice is hoarse or when voice will not come out at all! Colds, allergies, bronchitis, exposure to irritants such as ammonia, or cheering for your favorite sports team can result in a loss of voice.
How are pediatric voice disorders treated?
Treatment Depends on Diagnosis
Hoarseness is typically caused by irritation and swelling of the vocal folds. Successful treatment requires the removal of the irritating condition.
- If irritation is caused by backflow of stomach fluids to the throat and voice box (laryngopharyngeal reflux), the LPR should be treated.
- If irritation is from vocal abuse, tips to avoid abusing the voice are given.
- If irritation is from postnasal drip, interventions to clear the nose are done.
- If irritation is from small growths like papilloma or cysts, they are surgically removed.
Speech Therapy Is the Current Mainstay for Treatment
- Speech therapy is generally helpful in all conditions. It can be especially helpful in children who use their voice aggressively or who are required to use a harsh aggressive attack with their voice because of their hoarseness.
- Techniques to encourage a comfortable initiation of voicing are taught to the child. The parents are also taught so that they can help the child practice at home.
- The child must use the techniques outside of the therapy sessions if success is to be achieved. Alternatives to rough play noises are sought. Techniques for translating comfortable voice to comfortable yelling or projecting are also taught to children who play sports or who have to be heard over noise.