Jun 4, 2019
Just as Parkinson’s disease (PD) affects movements in other parts of the body, it can affect muscles of the face, mouth, and throat, leading to problems with speech and swallowing. People with PD may experience voice problems during the course of their disease. The problems tend to increase as the disease progresses but may occur at any stage. Speech is one way we communicate and stay socially engaged, but facial expressions and gestures also convey meaning and intent. Thus, PD can hamper communication in multiple ways. Some signs of voice problems include feedback that you are speaking too quickly or slowly, being told that companions cannot hear or understand you clearly or having to strain to speak loudly enough to be heard. Darla Freeman is a Speech-Language Pathologist at the Florida Center for Voice and Swallowing in Tampa with special interests in the evaluation, diagnosis, and management of voice disorders. In this podcast, she discusses voice problems in PD, some methods to alleviate them, and overall communication.