Voice

What are voice disorders?

A voice disorder refers to a difficulty or inability in using your voice. This can be during singing, speaking in an everyday situation, or during particularly demanding voice activities such as giving a speech or speaking in noisy environments (think of teachers, lecturers, or people working on a construction site).

Who can be affected?

Anyone, irrespective of age or gender, can be affected by a voice disorder, however people who are required to use their voice as one of the main components of their profession are more susceptible, particularly if care is not taken.

What causes voice disorders?

Voice disorders have multiple causes and are commonly categorised as organic or functional.

Organic voice disorders are those caused by structural abnormalities to the anatomy required for voice production. Commonly structural abnormalities involve the tissue of the vocal folds, such as vocal polyps, cysts and nodules. This category also includes neurogenic voice disorders, which occur as a result of damage to the brain or nerves which supply the anatomical structures required for voice production.

Functional voice disorders mean that the anatomical structure is normal, but the vocal mechanism is being misused or used inefficiently. These disorders can be of psychological origin, and are then referred to as a psychogenic voice disorder.

How are voice disorders treated?

We provide both preventative and rehabilitative services for people with voice disorders. The origin of the voice disorder will determine whether the treatment will be voice therapy with a speech pathologist and/or referral to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, a psychologist, a psychiatrist or a combination of these.

Treatment for voice disorders may involve a voice exercise program, education about voice use behaviours, and/or medical interventions such as surgery and medication.

Services provided by the voice clinic

  • Our Voice Care and Evaluation Service provides voice care presentations, screenings and a diagnostic service for professional voice users.
  • Voice assessment using specialised computer software for people who are concerned about their voice.
  • Voice therapy for the treatment of voice disorders and post surgical voice rehabilitation.
  • Voice modification for individuals diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria.
  • Voice modification for individuals whose voice does not match their gender identity.

Most voice therapy sessions are scheduled weekly although this can vary according to individual needs. Voice rehabilitation is achieved through a combination of voice education and vocal exercises.

Application Forms

Please complete and return the following application forms.  These forms must be completed before a referral will be processed.

If any assistance is required to complete these forms, please call clinic reception on (03) 9479 1921 or email communication.clinic@latrobe.edu.au to request assistance.

Fees

Our fees are not refundable through Medicare or private health insurance. Concession is available on the presentation of a Health Care Card. Fees may be altered according to family income and individual circumstances. For other programs or group therapy, different fees will apply.

Other important information

How is Voice Produced

Information on respiration, phonation and resonance.