The Milton Hall ENT Institute in Georgia is staffed by fully licensed speech pathologists dedicated to the clinical care of individuals with voice, swallowing, and speech/communication disorders. We are committed to providing patients with the highest quality of diagnostic and therapeutic services in order to improve voice, swallowing, and communication abilities—and overall quality of life. Our goals are to continuously strive to help you (or someone you know) communicate more clearly, easily, effectively, and confidently and/or swallow (eat/drink) more easily, confidently, and safely. At times, it can seem difficult to get direct answers about your voice, swallowing, or communication difficulties—but here at the ENT Institute; you will have our full attention. We understand the fears and frustrations that may coincide with these types of disorders, and we are here to help you. We recognize that even the minor symptoms you experience can be irritating and possibly interfere with daily life. Your concerns and questions are taken very seriously, no matter how small or large they might seem. And we LISTEN to you. The care you will receive at the ENT Institute is based upon the very latest research findings, and provided by extremely skilled and trained speech pathologists who maintain national and state certifications, competencies, and licenses—and further their expertise through continuing education courses and professional conferences. The speech pathology approach here at the ENT Institute involves consistent communication with you in order to arrive at an individually tailored treatment plan together that can easily fit into your daily life.
Speech pathologists are responsible for the vocal health and management of patients in order to prevent the occurrence/recurrence of a voice disorder, reduce or eliminate the voice disorder (if present), help the patient produce a voice of the best possible pitch, loudness, and quality in relation to the individual’s age and gender, and rehabilitate the voice to a level of function that enables the patient to fulfill his/her daily voice and/or speech communication needs. You may want to consider visiting the ENT Institute regarding your voice if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms or complaints:
- voice changes lasting longer than two weeks (especially if you smoke)
- pain in your throat when talking that is not from a cold or flu
- a severe change in your voice (or complete loss of voice) lasting longer than a few days that is not associated with a cold or the flu
- persistent voice changes that inhibit your ability to do your normal activities
- vocal fatigue
- hoarseness or other change in the pitch/timbre or quality of your voice
- a loss in a portion of your speaking or singing range
- tightness/discomfort or burning sensation in your throat
- a sensation of something stuck in your throat
- difficulty making your voice sufficiently loud or soft
- breathlessness when you speak
- tremor quality or abrupt starts and stops of your voice that you have difficulty controlling
- a feeling of the need to cough or clear your throat frequently
Among others, here are some individuals that may benefit from voice therapy services:
- Professional & vocational voice users
- TV/Radio Broadcasters
- Fitness Instructors/Cheerleaders
- Police/Military Personnel
- Anyone already diagnosed with a voice disorder/pathology
Speech pathologists are responsible for the dietary management of patients in order to prevent aspiration and limit its occurrence, prevent aspiration pneumonia, reduce the occurrence of weight loss from swallowing difficulty, and reduce swallowing problems overall—thus improving quality of daily life (as each day involves eating, drinking, and maintaining sufficient nutrition). You may want to consider visiting the ENT Institute regarding your swallowing if you are experiencing any of the following complaints or symptoms:
- coughing during eating or drinking (or soon after)
- increased congestion in the chest after eating
- the need to swallow multiple times for one mouthful of food
- fatigue or shortness of breath while eating/drinking
- difficulty with pills
- prolonged mealtimes
- difficulty or increased effort to chew or swallow
- a rise in temperature (fever)
- a weight loss associated with increased slowness during eating/drinking
- frequent pneumonia
- runny nose or eyes during eating/drinking or afterwards
- a feeling of something “stuck” in your throat
- an aversion to foods/liquids
- a wet/gurgly-sounding voice during or after eating/drinking
Speech Pathologists are also responsible for the communication and swallowing needs of those patients with head/neck cancer who may have undergone a laryngectomy and/or radiation/chemo treatments. It is important that these patients should see a speech pathologist pre-op (before surgery and/or treatments) for education/training, etc., and also post-op for follow-up, continued training/therapy, and education. In addition, there is research that suggests individuals who have completed a swallowing exercise therapy program prior to undergoing chemo/radiation have a greatly reduced chance of requiring a feeding tube for nutrition after the radiation/chemo, as compared to others who require feeding tubes for the remainder of their lives. Also, thorough education & training regarding the changes after chemo/radiation and/or laryngectomy improve patient confidence, attitude, motivation, and overall outlook on life—and this is our goal for you here at the ENT Institute.
In addition, speech pathologists are also responsible for the speech, communication, and cognitive needs of patients who may have memory impairments, residual effects from a stroke or brain injury, and/or living with a degenerative disease. It is our goal to address your communicative needs and provide you with strategies, ideas, and an effective plan to improve your abilities and life in these areas.
The following services are currently available to all of the ENT Institute’s speech pathology patients:
-Endoscopy/Stroboscopy to visualize the vocal mechanism, its function, and the presence of any abnormalities
-Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) to evaluate the safety of the swallowing mechanism and determine risk of dysphagia and aspiration
-Voice Evaluation (objective and perceptual measurements)
-Dysphagia (swallowing) Evaluation
-Dysphagia (swallowing) therapy
-Vocal Restoration after Larygectomy (including Tracheoesophageal Prosthesis changes and placements)
-Voice and Dysphagia therapy after head/neck cancer radiation/chemo treatments
-Communication Evaluation (after stroke, brain injury, of for those with cognitive or memory impairments)
-Cognitive Evaluation (for those with memory impairments, and/or dementia)
As a speech pathology team, we are here to initiate and continue management of your voice, swallowing, and/or communication needs. Come visit our comprehensive expert team at the ENT Institute! We want to address your important concerns and guide you in establishing a worry-free and improved quality of life.
"Dr. Joseph, thank you for being so attentive to our little girl. She told all her friends that a Princess took out her tonsils, (she says you look like Princess Jasmine). From day one- We felt safe with you as her surgeon. As a parent, it was such a relief to know she was being cared for and felt a sense of security in your care."
- Georgette, Newnan, GA
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