How can you tell if you have a voice disorder?

Symptoms of a voice disorder

Many people with voice injuries will report their voice sounds harsh, strained or “tight”, or their voice may sound breathy and weak. Some people report their voice drops out on words when they talk, or have problems controlling the pitch of their voice. Most people with voice injuries report feeling fatigued by their voice injury, and some report a sensation of a lump in the side of their throat when talking.

Active OHS Tip: Never tell anyone with a suspected voice injury to just speak softer or whisper, as this could add additional muscle tension dysphonia.

Determining a date of injury

Most voice injuries develop over time and cannot be put down to a specific incident. Many people suffering from a voice injury will recall using their voice excessively over a period of days, weeks or months. This can suggest their vocal load is beyond their actual physical capacity.

People with voice injuries may report rest is helpful in resolving their voice injuries in the initial instances, however over time and ongoing vocal use they may find their voice problem painfully persists, resulting in them seeking treatment and advice.

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