Parkinson’s Disease can result in weakened or severely impaired control over your speech, but don’t lose hope – there are methods of treatment and therapy that can help you regain your voice. Know the verbal effects of Parkinson’s Disease, find personal practices that can improve your speech, and seek professional treatment to help strengthen your voice.
Effects on Speech and Voice
There are three ways that Parkinson’s Disease can affect speech: dysarthria, hypophonia, and tachyphemia. Dysarthria affects the muscles required for speech which can cause mumbling or slurring. Hypophonia, also brought on by weakened muscles, is characterized by a soft, abnormally weak voice. Tachyphemia is rapid, stammering speech, also known as cluttering. Knowing these three conditions and their effects can help you find your best methods of treatment following diagnosis.
Along with seeking professional forms of speech therapy, there are a few practices you can incorporate into your daily routine to help further your recovery. It is common to feel discouraged or embarrassed following your diagnosis because of your loss of vocal control, but it is important to remain calm and focused on your improvements. During conversations, focus on pronunciation and volume control to help regain muscle strength and develop clarity. Singing is also a great method of strengthening the voice and improving breath control. Don’t forget to remain positive and conversational with friends and family. Keeping your spirits high will help to push you forward during recovery.
You should seek professional care from a speech pathologist as soon after diagnosis as possible to pinpoint your areas of need and establish the best methods for improving your speech. If you are fighting severe speech impairment, the specialist may recommend equipment such as voice amplifiers to aid in therapy. At Sage Rehabilitation Hospital and Outpatient Services, we offer several treatments to combat the effects of Parkinson’s Disease. In our LSVT LOUD program, our certified therapists target vocal amplitude, breath support, pitch range, and voice quality to help you regain your quality of speech. These individual therapy sessions are targeted to help maximize the potential of your recovery.
We at Sage Rehabilitation Hospital and Outpatient Services want to help you regain your strength and confidence of speech following your diagnosis. Contact us today to schedule a Program Consultation and begin the road to recovery!