Research shows that 89 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) experience speech and voice disorders, including soft, monotone, breathy and hoarse voice and uncertain articulation.
People with Parkinson’s (PD) may notice changes in or difficulty chewing, eating, speaking or swallowing. These changes can happen at any time, but tend to increase as PD progresses. Just as PD affects movement in other parts of the body, it also affects the muscles in the face, mouth and throat that are used in speaking and swallowing.
Beyond producing the sounds of speech, PD symptoms like a frozen or masked face can make it harder to communicate the emotions that go along with what you are saying. Others may misinterpret this as a lack of interest in the conversation or aloofness. In addition, some people with PD struggle to find words, and so they may speak slowly. And in other cases, PD causes people to speed up their speech, so much that it may sound like stuttering.
HOW does a person know if they have speech problem? Ask yourself if:
- My voice makes it difficult for people to hear me.
- People have difficulty understanding me in a noisy room.
- My voice issues limit my personal and social life.
- I feel left out of conversations because of my voice.
- My voice problem causes me to lose income.
- I have to strain to produce voice.
- My voice clarity is unpredictable.
- My voice problem upsets me.
- My voice makes me feel handicapped.
- People ask, “What’s wrong with your voice?”