Speech Therapy

Impact of Tracheostomy and Ventilator on a Person's Speech

Some people suffer from severe breathing problems where the inhaling and exhaling of oxygen through nose becomes difficult. Tracheostomy and ventilator are two devices that can help a person breath artificially through a tube inserted through the neck just below the vocal cords.

Tracheostomy and Ventilator: When a person breathes normally through the nose and mouth, any harmful waste is filtered by the nostrils thus, allowing the required oxygen to reach the lungs. But, when breathing is done through the tube in the neck, any external debris could reach the lungs making it really difficult to swallow, smell or taste.

Since the air required for speaking no longer passes in and out of the vocal folds and the required vocal passages, sound and speech produced by the patient would no longer be the same. The production of speech would become very difficult as the speaker would begin to run out of air very easily.

Understanding the speaker would become very difficult for the listener which can cause frustration and withdrawal symptoms in the patient.

If the patient is a young child, the problems can be even more complicated. Children would fail to produce new sounds rendering them unable to learn a language. This inability to produce speech would cause them to keep away from social communication. This can lead to a problem in understanding a language.

In some people, breathing can be so complicated that the tube has to be connected to an artificial breather also known as a ventilator.

Although ventilators allow a person to produce speech, the pattern of the speech can be very acyclic. The acyclic patterns would not allow the listener to understand the speech properly. This is because a ventilator takes time between the processes of exhalation and inhalation. It is during this exhalation process would a person be able to produce speech.

The rest of the time the speaker who is on the ventilator would have to fall silent.

People who are bound to survive with a tracheostomy and ventilator would face severe speech problems apart from the already suffering problem.

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