Speech Therapy

What Is Dysarthria? – An Overview

It is a disorder of speech which is a result of the weak respiratory system, face, and mouth muscles. In some cases these muscles may not even work at all. In simple words the reply to What Is Dysarthria? is it is the inability to produce speech accurately due to the weakness or lack of coordination of the muscles involved in speaking.

What Is Dysarthria?
It is a motor disorder of speech. The muscles used for clear speech like mouth, face, and respiratory system move slowly, or become weak, or may not move at all. The severity of this disorder depends on which part of the nervous system is affected.

What Are The Causes?
Following are some of the causes due to which a person may experience failure in muscle co-ordination.

  • Brain injury
  • Stroke – loss of brain function due to the rupture of blood vessels in the brain, or blockage of it.
  • Head Injury
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Muscular dystrophy – deterioration of muscles due to some defect in one or more genes that control muscle functioning.

What Are The Symptoms?
The symptoms of the condition vary from person to person depending upon the severity of the damage caused to the nervous system.

  • The speech is indistinct, unclear, and slurred – omitting sounds and careless utterance.
  • The rate of speech is slow and it is barely audible.
  • Mumbling is also a sign of the condition.
  • They experience very limited movements of jaw, lip, throat, and tongue.
  • The patient has an abnormal rhythm of speech.
  • The quality of their voice changes to nasal tone.
  • Their voice is hoarse.
  • While speaking their breath is audible.
  • They experience difficulty in chewing the food and swallowing it.
  • They have difficulty in controlling the saliva and it keeps running down the mouth.

The next time you hear some one ask what is dysarthria? Explain them in the simplest words that ‘dys’ means having problem with and ‘arthr’ means articulation. Together it means having problem with articulation because of weak oral muscles.

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