About the Voice

In this section, you can learn about the voice in general, whether or not you might have a voice problem, and even some basic anatomay and physiology of the voice.

The voice is produced in the larynx (also known as the "voice box"). The medical discipline that studies the voice and treats voice disorders is Otolaryngology. "Oto" stands for ear, "laryng" stands for voice, and "ology" stands for "the study of." The complete name for this discipline is actually Otorhinolaryngology. "Rhino" stands for nose. Now you know why we often shorten the name to "ENT" - the Ear, Nose, and Throat clinic!

General Facts

Learn who gets voice disorders and who develops them.

Your Voice & How it Works

Discover the different parts that make up the voice.

You & Your Voice

Learn about vocal hygiene and caring for one's voice.

Related Problems

Find voice problems that can develop and related treatments.

How is Your Voice?

Answer the following 12 questions as YES or NO to determine if you might have a voice disorder. Scroll down to find out what your answers might mean.

  1. Does your voice sound hoarse, rough, raspy or gravelly?
  2. Does your voice sound weak, breathy or tired?
  3. Does your voice sound or feel tired after talking or singing?
  4. Do you have discomfort in your neck or throat after talking or singing?
  5. Do you sometimes feel that your words are choked, strangled or blocked?
  6. Do you feel like your voice is "leaking," like there's silence or a burst of air and that words don't come out?
  7. Do you feel that your voice is worse in the mornings? Does your voice take several hours to "wake up?"
  8. Do you have a very dry, raw, burning, or stinging feeling in your throat?
  9. Do you get spasms in your throat so that you have difficulty breathing?
  10. Do you feel that you can't sing as high/low, loud/soft, or as long as you used to?
  11. Did your voice get worse with illness and not return to normal when the illness resolved?
  12. Did your voice become worse immediately following surgery?

You may have a voice disorder if . . .

You answered YES to any of these questions or your ability to communicate has been impaired.

Please refer to our section on treatment to see what these vocal symptoms might mean. At the Lions Voice Clinic, we can help you. If your voice problems have persisted more than a week we suggest you contact us or visit the Voice Team Locator at the National Center for Voice and Speech to find out about a voice care team in your area.