I had an auto accident that required a short term trach. I also paralyzed the left vocal cord and had the trach while in the hospital for 63 days. At first, my voice was low and I couldn't be heard. Now, I have snoring issues, my son says in two octaves and loud. Also, my voice seems to be normal to me but I have been told too many times that I am loud, even when I try to be quiet. Is this normal for my situation and how can I turn my volume down? The ENT people put an endoscope down my throat and saw the paralysis and I have had times when the cord spasms, and I can barely squeak a breath in or out. This happened several times, twice called an ambulance. I can take a muscle relaxer and it helps but getting that down is hard. I get very embarrassed and consciously try to tone my voice down but I always seem to be heard. Can I tell people why? Even my adult children remind me, and seem irritated because I am so loud. Please help.
Melissa Kim M.S., CCC-SLP replies...
Typically, individuals with a vocal cord paralysis cannot achieve normal loudness, because the vocal cords no longer meet at midline. That you have been told that you are speaking too loudly is unusual in your situation. My suggestion would be to ask your ENT for a referral to a speech pathologist who specializes in the treatment of voice disorders; in some cases, persistently inappropriate volume can be successfully addressed behaviorally in a therapy setting.