Voice Therapy and Chronic Cough

Exercise doesn’t have to be hard, boring, take too much time, make you sweaty or require workout clothes.  Voice exercises can be an important part of a comprehensive cough treatment plan.  And voice exercises can be done in as little as 10-minute intervals once a day, or shorter intervals throughout the day, in the comfort of your car, office, or home without any special tools or equipment.

A comprehensive treatment plan for chronic cough, that treats many contributing factors at once rather than one factor at a time, will hasten cough relief.  Prescription and over-the-counter medications, voice exercises, and diet modifications are all important pieces of a complete plan.

Once a specially trained speech therapist introduces you to the voice exercises, they can be done on your own until it is time to evaluate your progress – usually around one month after beginning.  The focus of voice therapy is:

  • Breathing techniques
  • Vocal hygiene such as avoiding menthol cough drops and gargling
  • Throat relaxation
  • Recognizing early warning signs of a cough attack and strategies for managing such as sucking on ice chips, swallowing instead of coughing, and counting to five to see if the urge to cough passes

Voice therapy is one important part of Dr. Mandel Sher and Center for Cough’s remarkable success.  Over 80% of our patients demonstrate a measurable improvement in their cough frequency and intensity and a vast improvement in their lives.  Voice therapy is an especially important part of the cough treatment plan when the cough is caused by irritated nerve endings at the back of the throat.  This type of cough, referred to as a “neurogenic cough”, was featured in a previous blog post on Center for Cough’s web site, “Hot-Wired to Cough:  Your Throat’s Nerve Endings are on Fire!

One of the objectives of voice therapy is becoming more aware of how your cough behaves.  Try to answer the questions below.  You will be surprised that even if you cannot answer these questions now, you will become aware of your cough’s behavior, and as a result, will help your cough doctor develop an effective cough treatment plan that includes voice therapy:          

  • What time of day or night does cough occur?
  • Is the cough mild or severe?
  • Is the cough constant or does it occur in episodes?
  • Are there any “warning signs” of a cough attack?
  • What are the activities associated with cough?
  • Does the cough seem to respond to changes in the weather?
  • Has there been any change in the environment such as more dust or odor?
Call Center for Cough today to see how we can help you with a persistent cough that just won’t go away:  727-393-8067.