Lions Voice Clinic

Welcome to the Lions Voice Clinic of the University of Minnesota, where a team of professionals is dedicated to:

  • evaluating and treating voice disorders
  • researching all aspects of voice use
  • educating individuals about the human voice
  • providing a full range of state of the art voice care
  • specializing in treating singers, actors, and other professional voice users

Care Team

See the extraordinary health experts on our team and how they can help you.

About the Voice

Learn about what makes up your voice and related voice problems.

Treatment

Discover the different categories of voice disorders and the evaluation and treatment process.


General Questions

Who Develops Voice Problems

Anyone, at any age.

  • More likely to occur in individuals who use their voice extensively or strenuously
  • May occur in individuals with limited voice
  • May occur in individuals who used their voices extensively prior to retirement, and now have a reduced voice use (the voice can become de-conditioned.)

The Voice is Considered to Have a Disorder if:

  • There is abnormal, or poor quality, sound
  • The quality does not serve the voice needs of the individual
  • There is fatigue, discomfort, or pain associated with voice use (even if the voice sounds normal)
  • The voice cannot do what the individual needs it to do

What are the Different Types of Voice Disorders

Organic - Something is physically wrong with the mechanism

Functional - The physical structure is normal, but the mechanism is being used improperly or inefficiently

Sometimes an organic voice disorder, such as polyps or cysts (growths on the vocal folds) cause an individual to develop poor functional use of the voice. Other times, poor functional use, such as screaming or excessive throat clearing, can cause organic changes to occur, such as the development of nodules (a.k.a. "nodes").

The interaction between the organic and functional components of voice disorders is why it is so important to be treated by a team of voice specialists including at least an otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat doctor) with special training in the voice, and a certified speech-language pathologist with specialized training in voice disorders and rehabilitation.