Speech Therapy

Speech Impairment In Adults: Causes And Home-Care

Speech disorders like aphasia, dysarthria and dysphonia develop over a period of time. But many people can develop language and speech impairment suddenly. It usually happens when they are experience a trauma.

Some of the common causes of these speech disorders are listed below:

Aphasia

  • Brain tumor
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Head trauma
  • Transient Ischemic attack (TIA)
  • Dementia
  • Stroke

Voice Disturbances

People who use their voice heavily (vocal performers, teachers, coaches) are more likely to develop voice disorders.
Nodules on the vocal cords

Dysarthria

  • Dementia
  • Alcohol intoxication
  • Facial weakness (tongue weakness or Bell’s palsy)
  • Facial trauma
  • Diseases affecting the muscles and nerves (neuro muscular diseases). For example, myasthenia gravis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS)
  • Head and neck cancer surgery
  • Head trauma
  • Neurological disorders like Huntigton’s disease or Parkinson’s disease
  • Stroke
  • Poorly fitting dentures
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
  • Side affects of medications that act on the central nervous system. For example, phenytoin, narcotics or carbamazepine

Home Care Remedies

For dealing with aphasia patients, family members may need to provide orientation reminders as many as possible. For example, they have to remind day of the week to the patient. Confusion and disorientation occur with aphasia. There is a general misconception that patients with aphasia are incompetent. However, caregivers and patients can sometimes implement nonverbal ways of communicating.

For dysarthria, using hand gestures and speaking slowly are suggested by therapists. Family and friends need to be patient and provide enough time for those with the disorder to express themselves. If possible you should stop the medications that are causing the speech impairment.

For people with severe speech impairment, it is very much important to recognise and treat depression.

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