Sam Brady

Speech and Language Therapist

You may have lots of questions regarding your appointment, I have put together some frequently asked questions that should help put you at ease.

What can I expect from my first Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) appointment for throat or voice difficulties?

During your first Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) appointment for throat or voice difficulties, you can expect a comprehensive assessment aimed at diagnosing the underlying cause of your symptoms and determining the most appropriate treatment plan. Here’s what typically happens:

1. Medical History Review:
The ENT specialist will begin by discussing your medical history, including any past or current medical conditions, medications, surgeries, allergies, and lifestyle factors that may be relevant to your throat or voice concerns.

2. Symptom Evaluation:
You’ll have the opportunity to describe your symptoms in detail, including when they started, their severity, any triggers or aggravating factors, and any associated symptoms such as pain, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, or changes in voice quality.

3.Physical Examination:
The ENT specialist will conduct a thorough physical examination of your throat, nose, and larynx (voice box) to assess for any abnormalities, inflammation, or structural issues that may be contributing to your symptoms.

4. Nasendoscopy:
In some cases, the ENT specialist may recommend a nasendoscopy, a procedure where a thin, flexible tube with a camera (endoscope) is inserted through your nose to visualise the structures of your throat and voice box. This allows for a detailed examination of the nasal passages, nasopharynx, and larynx to identify any abnormalities or lesions that may not be visible during a routine physical examination.

5. Diagnostic Tests:
Depending on your symptoms and the findings of the physical examination, the ENT specialist may recommend further diagnostic tests to evaluate your throat or voice function. This may include vocal function tests, imaging studies such as a neck ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI, or a biopsy.

6. Discussion of Findings and Treatment Options:
Once the assessment is complete, the ENT specialist will discuss their findings with you and provide recommendations for further management. This may include medical treatment, surgical intervention, or referral to other specialists, such as Speech and Language Therapy or Physiotherapy for ongoing management and support.

7. Follow-Up Plan:
You’ll be provided with a follow-up plan, including instructions for any prescribed medications, recommendations and information on when to schedule a follow-up appointment to monitor your progress

What can I expect from my first Speech and Language Therapy session

As a specialised speech and language therapist focusing on voice and throat difficulties, I provide comprehensive care tailored to your individual needs, whether in-person or through remote sessions. Here’s what you can expect:

1. Introduction and History Gathering:
Our session will begin with a warm welcome and introductions. I’ll take the time to get to know you and understand your concerns regarding your voice and throat difficulties. We’ll discuss any relevant medical conditions, past treatments, surgeries, and medications.

2. Symptom Evaluation:
You’ll have the opportunity to describe your symptoms in detail. This may include hoarseness, vocal fatigue, pain or discomfort when speaking or swallowing, changes in voice quality, or any other difficulties you may be experiencing.

3. Assessment of Voice and Throat Function:
Using video conferencing software or in-person assessments, I will conduct a thorough evaluation of your voice and throat function to identify any underlying issues or abnormalities. This may involve various tasks, such as vocal exercises and speaking tasks.

4. Discussion of Findings and Treatment Options:
Once the assessment is complete, I will discuss my findings with you and provide recommendations for further management. This may include voice therapy exercises, lifestyle modifications, strategies to reduce throat irritation, or referrals to other specialists if necessary.

5. Development of a Treatment Plan:
Together, we will develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and goals. This plan will outline the steps we will take to address your voice and throat difficulties and achieve optimal vocal health.

6. Follow-Up and Support:
I am committed to supporting you throughout your journey to improved vocal health. We will schedule follow-up appointments as needed to monitor your progress, adjust your treatment plan as necessary, and provide ongoing support and guidance.

Discharge from Therapy

You may be discharged from therapy for voice and throat difficulties if:

1. Symptoms resolve or significantly improve.

2. Goals outlined in treatment plan are achieved.

3. Improvement is maintained over time.

Upon discharge, you’ll receive a comprehensive report summarising your progress and recommendations. This report will also be sent to your ENT consultant and doctor.

Where can I find resources to help with my voice or throat difficulties?

1. NHS:
The NHS website offers reliable information on various health conditions, including voice and throat disorders. You can find information on symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment options, and self-care tips. nhs.uk

2. ENT UK:
ENT UK is the professional membership body representing Ear, Nose, and Throat specialists in the UK. Their website provides information on various ENT conditions, including voice and throat disorders, along with resources for patients and healthcare professionals. entuk.org

3. British Voice Association (BVA):
The BVA is dedicated to supporting voice professionals and individuals with voice disorders in the UK. Their website offers resources, information on voice care, and listings of voice specialists and therapists. britishvoiceassociation.org.uk

4. Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT):
The RCSLT is the professional body for speech and language therapists in the UK. Their website provides information on speech and language therapy services, including voice therapy, and resources for patients and families. rcslt.org

5. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA):
ASHA provides comprehensive information on voice disorders, swallowing disorders, and speech-language therapy. Their website offers resources, articles, and directories to help individuals find certified speech-language pathologists and resources in their area. asha.org

6. Voice Foundation:
The Voice Foundation is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to promoting vocal wellness through education and research. Their website offers resources, educational materials, and information on voice disorders and treatment options. voicefoundation.org

7. Healthline:
Healthline offers a variety of articles and resources on voice disorders, throat conditions, and related topics. Their website provides information on symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment options for various voice and throat difficulties. healthline.com

These websites offer valuable information, support, and resources for individuals in the UK experiencing voice or throat difficulties, as well as their families and caregivers.