HAS ANYONE ASKED YOU TO SPEAK LOUD?Category:
If you or your loved one has Parkinson’s disease, Lee Silverman Voice Therapy (LSVT LOUD) and swallow preservation exercises are a positive dose!
Why is LOUD important?
People with Parkinson’s disease may develop dysphonia (quiet and breathy voice) and dysarthria (speech that is imprecise, flat in intonation, and trails away). Dysphonia and dysarthria can lead to frustration and isolation for both the person with Parkinson’s disease and the spouse.
LSVT LOUD exercises the muscles of voicing. More importantly, LSVT LOUD exercises the brain. And the benefits extend beyond voice. When someone with Parkinson’s disease uses LSVT LOUD voice, voice improves, speech improves, intonation improves, and facial expression improves!
The exercises are fun! The exercises include: saying a loud and clear “Aah”, gliding up a scale, gliding down a scale, and saying a Top Ten List of Survival Phrases. Many people choose, “I love you,” “Thank you,” and of course, “What’s for dinner?” The goal is to talk with your LOUD voice all the time.
Why are swallow preservation exercises important?
People who have Parkinson’s disease can develop a dysphagia (swallowing) problem at any time in the disease. Some people may even develop aspiration. Aspiration occurs when food goes down the wrong pipe into the trachea and lungs instead of into the esophagus. If this occurs often enough, the person may develop aspiration pneumonia. Aspiration pneumonia can be devastating.
Swallow preservation exercises help keep the swallow strong. Exercises include the tongue press, the effortful swallow and the super-supraglottic swallow.
If your doctor clears you, you may be a candidate to use an expiratory muscle strength trainer (EMST 150) which may strengthen your voice, swallow and cough.
Exercise is medicine. You have the power to help yourself through exercise and, once again... find the joy in your communication.
Lisa J. Bolden, MA, CCC-SLP is a certified and licensed speech pathologist and communication coach with 30+ years of experience. Ms. Bolden is an expert in voice therapy and an innovator in the field of communication coaching. You can find more information about Lisa in our Wellness Village, where she has been a member since September 1, 2018.