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ifixbax

Losing my Voice

12 posts in this topic

It seems that every part of Parkinson's has come to me on an increasing come and go routine. Now my voice is on that same journey. My voice becomes so soft, hoarse sounding and increasingly difficult to speak for a long period of time.

 

I thought that it would very slowly come on. It seems to come and go. More frequently and lasting longer. I am in year 4 -5 of Parkinson's and I thought that voice loss was far, far up the road. Going to see an ENT to make sure not something else.

 

Any one else with this experience?

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I am caretaker for my DH who is also in stage 4-5. His voice is very low, cannot find the words that he wants to use, and mumbles, slurs and cannot understand what he is trying to say. He has seen speech-language pathologist  and there was nothing after many sessions that they could do. He seems to be able to talk where we can understand in the mornings, as the day goes on he basically shuts down and does not try to talk at all. 

 

The medication that helps improve most symptoms, are not as helpful when it comes to speech. Although some may find it helpful it did nothing for my DH. DH neurologist said that the speech and swallowing symptoms are very common in the later stage of 4 going into 5. DH also has the swallowing difficult which he did receive help with along with the speech which nothing could be done. So we try to do most of our talking when we first wake up.

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I'm 3 years post diagnosis and have the same problem. They scoped my throat at the hospital and my vocal chords are not parallel as they are supposed to be. The speech therapist thought that was typical for a person with Parkinson's.

 

I took several sessions of speech therapy with marginal results. Next time, I'm going to take PD specific voice therapy.

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I am 3 yrs diagnosed and my voice isnt as strong so I got referred to speech therapist who had me do the LVST LOUD program. For me it was time well spent. Have exercises to do at home periodically. 6 month followup evaluation planned. I can converse at 80-85 dB but if fatigued at end of day there is some weakening.

 

DB

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Time to find a speech therapist that works with Parkinson's Patients. 

 

We have some fantastic ones around Austin, TX.

 

Meanwhile, at home with family, practice while holding a pencil in your mouth. It forces you to use your throat a little more. When I am working double bag at Rock Steady Boxing, I use my full voice (I AM LOUD!) with A E I O U and sometimes Y as I am hitting that bag.   Thankfully we do that for 90 seconds, then on to six other things.... so gives me 12 minutes to get ready to be loud again!

 

In the car... use your voice! Windows up, AC blasting, and use your voice as loud as you can. I can't hear you.... Louder!  Only person I do that with, when they are in the car, is my daughter.  She is short, but boy she is loud. It gets me laughing, which is the best medicine.

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I am on year 7 and just completed 6 months of speech therapy which was very helpful.  It requires alot of hard work. I have exercises to do every day. The hardest thing for me was that when I was talking at the level I am suppose to be I felt like I was shouting. I wasnt but I interpreted it as if I was(thats the PD )

I still find that by the end of the day it is hard to talk at all.

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I have voice failure also. It comes and goes. Yesterday I was very dehydrated and I couldn't  talk. I don't know if the two were connected.

 

I was diagnosed Dec. 2006. 

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LVST Loud is great,  go back for "tune-ups" as needed. Your family is not hard of hearing. 

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When DH was being dx'd this March the neuro doctor asked him how long his voice has been soft. We didnt realize it. Doctor said voice strength can be detected by doctors because there is a different way of projecting sound.

 

Now, when he is tired his voice gets really soft. PD appears different with everyone.

 

Thanks for suggestions. Will look into therapy.

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I am 2+ years from diagnosis and another year of symptoms before.  My voice was never forceful and even soft before and has become quieter.  As a 62 year old practicing optometrist, and consequently with a significant percentage of my patient base my age or older and therefore many have reduced hearing, I must work at speaking louder for them.  Before diagnosis, it always seemed so rude when I would be talking, explaining something and the patient would start talking right over me.  Then I realized it was not rudeness but they just didn't hear me.  So I am very aware of this and work at speaking in a volume that to me sounds like yelling for people to hear me, and if someone doesn't respond, I know it is me not them.  Usually by the afternoon, there is a hoarseness to my voice, but so far I can function well.  It seems my best speech therapy is my job which requires lots of talking and talking loudly.

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I think the problems of communication are under-recognized in PD. Both the soft voice and the facial masking often make it hard for others to communicate well or perhaps misunderstand the person with PD. LVST Loud is helpful. For those of of us close to someone with PD, perception checking goes a long way. 

Edited by Golden01
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I learned at a seminar in Redding that there is a way to protect our voice. Dr. Shelly Von Berg a speech therapist and professor at Chico State University and on the Board of the Parkinsons Voice Project was the speaker.

 

In summary, our vocal chords are muscles and need daily exercise to remain healthy especially forvPersons with Parkinsons. She specializes in Parkinsons disease. She has been my therapist for a year now. I can tell you, this is saving my voice. The sooner you start the Loud crowd or Parkinson's voice project, the better. You may not gain back what you have already lost,but you can keep from loosing more.

 

The training book is free from the Parkinsons voice project. It is extremely helpful to have a speech therapist trained in Parkinson's. It makes a huge difference.

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