Nearly a million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease. A number that increases yearly by 60,000 people. Parkinson’s is a disorder that affects the central nervous system, affecting movement, and often includes tremors. These symptoms vary widely and not all people with PD will experience the same symptoms, most patients live their entire life without speech difficulties; however, for those it does affect, it can be a serious problem.
90% of people with Parkinson’s develop speech problems. Some of these speech related problems may go unrecognized by the person with PD until they begin therapy to remedy. A list of both speech related side effects and therapy options can be found below.
How does Parkinson’s affect speech
- The tone and clarity of your voice, causing hoarseness, breathy, and a softer overall tone
- The person’s speech may be slurred
- The person’s speech may become mumbled and or expressed rapidly
- The person’s Speech may slow down
- The person may have difficulty finding the right work
- The person may be unable to participate in faster conversions
Some people may also experience a mask-like expression, a term used to refer to those with PD whose faces appear less animated and have less movement. This is due to the reduction in dopamine caused by substantia nigra, a result of damaged neurons.
Treatment for Parkinson’s Speech Difficulties
Firstly, we recommend consulting with a speech therapist or speech pathologist. Either of these professionals are able to evaluate your symptoms and offer a number of treatment options that are specific to you and your speech difficulties.
There are options that include electronic devices for stuttering such as SpeechEasyPD. Additionally, collagen can be injected into the oval folds which have been proven to help in case the vocal cords are unable to close completely when a person with PD is talking.
If you’re struggling with Parkinson’s speech, SpeechEasy can help! By using our advanced technology, you can regain control of your speech feeling more confident in everyday communication. Contact us for a consultation today!