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Voice Therapy Clinic
At the Speech Therapy Department, we evaluate and treat voice disorders for the general public and people who use their voices professionally. Our Speech Therapists are dedicated to providing holistic and personalised treatment based on the latest research evidence.
We believe in a team approach, and work closely with ear, nose and throat specialists to diagnose and manage voice disorders.
Our mission is to prevent injury to the voice and larynx (voice box), and to provide rehabilitation for all types of voice problems. Voice therapy is the first line of treatment for many voice disorders. It involves changing vocal behaviours, and has two major components:
- Vocal hygiene, which refers to lifestyle and vocal practices that keep the larynx in healthy condition
- Therapy techniques to achieve the best possible voice for daily speaking needs
Common voice disorders such as muscle tension dysphonia and vocal nodules are often treated successfully. With the combined efforts of you and your Speech Therapist, it is possible to improve your voice quality and function.
Types of therapy and training that we provide include:
- Singing voice therapy
This therapy is for people whose singing voice is affected by their voice problem. The aim is to help you resume regular singing activities and avoid further vocal injury. The Speech Therapist will work with you to optimize vocal technique, by focusing on airflow and resonance. Exercises will be tailored to your individual singing needs.
- Cough suppression therapy
This is a behavioural treatment for chronic cough that can help to reduce the severity and frequency of coughing. Therapy involves teaching patients how to recognize triggers, prevent and suppress a cough, relax the neck and throat region, and reduce throat irritation.
- Respiratory retraining
This is a treatment for paradoxical vocal fold motion disorder (PVFMD) that helps patients control their breathing. It involves training an open throat, relaxed posture for breathing, and relaxation of muscles in the head-neck region.
- Transgendered voice services
This service is provided to transgendered individuals who need guidance with voice and communication feminisation.
The Voice Clinic is a specialised clinic run by voice care experts comprising:
- Speech Therapist
- Laryngologist (an Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon who specialises in the voice)
You will be seen by both of these professionals, who will work together to assess and treat your voice problem.
Diagnosis starts with a detailed case history, and you will be asked to fill in a series of questionnaires about your voice/throat problem. The staff will perform a physical exam and laryngoscopy to examine your larynx. During laryngoscopy, a small scope will be passed through your nose or mouth to obtain close-up, slow motion views of your voice box and vocal folds.
From the examination, the nature and extent of the voice problem can be specifically identified. We see all types of voice disorders, ranging from common to complex, for amateur and professional voice users alike. The most common disorders are vocal fold paralysis, muscle tension dysphonia, presbyphonia (voice changes due to ageing), and benign vocal fold growth such as nodules, polyps, and cysts.
The staff will explain the results of the evaluation, and discuss treatment options with you. Depending on your voice condition and treatment plan, you may require one or a combination of the following:
- Voice therapy
- Surgical treatment
- Further tests to investigate your voice/breathing/cough problem
Many voice problems can be managed successfully through voice therapy and medical care. If needed, specialised surgical techniques to improve the voice can be provided by the Laryngologist.
This clinic specialises in the treatment of adults and the elderly who have airway and swallowing problems. These disorders can affect the ability to breathe, eat and/or speak. Our mission is to optimise breathing and swallowing function for these patients, so as to improve their quality of life.
We use a multi-disciplinary approach, because diagnosis and management of these disorders can be complex, and typically involve more than one medical professional. The clinic is staffed by a Speech Therapist and Laryngologist who can provide specialised care for airway and swallowing issues.
We evaluate and treat disorders including:
- Unilateral/bilateral vocal fold paralysis
- Glottic stenosis
- Tracheal stenosis
- Upper airway conditions requiring tracheostomy
- Oropharyngeal dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
- Cricopharyngeal dysfunction
- Zenker’s diverticulum
In the clinic, procedures offered to patients include:
- Transnasal esophagoscopy
- Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing
- Vocal fold injection
- Cricopharyngeal dilation
Services provided by the Speech Therapist also include bedside assessment of swallowing, and facilitating communication for patients with tracheostomy. Patients may be referred on to the Speech Therapy Department for swallowing rehabilitation and further review.
Treatment recommendations for some patients may include surgical procedures that are performed in the operating theatre. In these cases, the Laryngologist will provide the necessary info-counselling and follow-up.
To consult with us, you will require a doctor’s referral. We accept referrals from private practitioners, polyclinics, and hospitals.
For assistance in making/changing an appointment, contact SGH Call Centre at (+65) 6321 4377.