“Alexa, do those with voice disorders have trouble with voice command devices?”

In the last few years we have seen a surge in voice command devices come onto the market in Murrieta and across the United States. While many of us have used the intelligent assistants that were programmed onto our favorite smartphones (I’m looking at you Siri), voice recognition has evolved even further. Devices like Amazon’s Echo can answer a question asked from across a room. Unfortunately, these devices can only work if you have a strong voice. Those with any sort of voice problems may have trouble.

Any number of things can cause your voice to change. Most causes will resolve on their own with simple at-home remedies but some are a sign of something more severe.

voice problems and amazon alexa

Vocal abuse, which occurs when you use your voice too much or incorrectly, can cause soft swollen spots to form on the vocal cords. Slowly these spots can develop into hard growths called nodules. If left untreated, the nodules will continue to grow larger and stiffen. Polyps are created in the same way, except instead of creating hard growths they are blister-like and can grow faster and larger.

These growths can cause hoarseness and a lump-in-the-throat sensation. In order to diagnose a growth on the vocal cord your Murrieta ear, nose and throat doctor will review your medical history and complete a full physical exam, including a voice evaluation. An endoscope may be used to get a closer look at the vocal cords. This procedure involves inserting a thin lighted instrument down your nose or throat.

Treatment for these growths depends on their size and age. Large or old growths may be removed surgically. Behavioral intervention, specifically learning good vocal hygiene in order to prevent additional vocal abuse, is usually recommended for newer and smaller growths.

Paradoxical vocal fold movement (PVFM) is a voical disorder that is commonly misdiagnosed as asthma. Those with this condition will have working vocal cords most of the time. During an episode their vocal cords will close when they should be open; this causes wheezing and difficulty breathing.

In order to diagnose this condition your doctor will review your medical history, perform a physical exam and use an endoscope to get a closer look at your vocal cords. A voical evaluation may also be performed.

The treatment for PVFM is based on determining your triggers. These can include shouting, cold air or irritants. Knowing your triggers can help prevent future episodes.

If you begin to realize your fun new voice-activated toy can no longer pick up your voice, it is time to schedule an appointment with your Murrieta vocal specialist.