Voice Problems

Posted 21st June 2018

The following information was supplied by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

What are voice problems?

Individuals with voice problems will struggle when attempting to communicate with others. The issues they experience may be temporary or more long term and complex. Voice problems may include:

  • Husky voice
  • Hoarseness
  • Sore or dry throat
  • Sudden pitch changes
  • Discomfort when speaking
  • Loud unvaried speech

How to help

When supporting a person with voice problems consider the following simple support methods:

  • Advise them to see their GP to discuss any voice problems
  • be positive and encouraging about the individual’s communication
  • explain that persistent throat clearing makes the throat uncomfortable
  • encourage a quiet environment for talking and take turns to talk
  • encourage the individual to avoid shouting and whispering loudly
  • ask for a hearing test if you are concerned about the person’s ability to hear
  • encourage the individual to drink plenty of water
  • try and ensure a reasonably dust-free environment

What not to do

There are several factors to recognise and avoid when supporting an individual with voice problems:

  • Avoid commenting to others about the individuals voice in front of them
  • Don’t draw attention to their voice
  • Avoid speaking loudly yourself with the person who is straining to be heard
  • Don’t tell the individual that their feelings are wrong or mistaken

Support organisations: