When people have difficulty with their voice, the voice may become hoarse and gravelly​, a soft whisper or people may have no voice at all.


​There are a number of causes of voice disorders.


​A speech-language pathologist will work closely with the treating physician.  Once the cause has been diagnosed and medical intervention complete, the speech-language pathologist will develop strategies and exercise to improve voice function and review good vocal hygiene.

Common Questions About Voice Problems

What is voice?


  • sound produced by the larynx (also called the 'voice box', located in the neck)

What is a problem voice?

  •  when the pitch/loudness/quality is more evident, rather than what the speaker is trying to communicate
  • the speaker might endure pain or discomfort when speaking or singing

What can cause a voice problem?

  • if someone sustains an injury that causes a paralysis of a vocal fold
  • misuse of the voice (using a pitch level that is too high or too low)
  • abuse of the vocal chords through smoking or through exposure to chemicals or allergens, or abusive vocal behaviour (e.g., repetitive throat clearing or excessive shouting).
  • other voice disorders that occur without apparent cause are thought to be neurologic in origin

What is an early sign of a voice problem requiring professional help?

  • if you have continuous hoarseness, voice change, or discomfort that lasts for more than 10 days in absence of an allergy or cold