Adult Speech and Swallowing Care

The clinicians trained to treat adults with voice and swallowing concerns will make recommendations regarding non-medical solutions to your complaints, which may include:

  • Hoarseness
  • Vocal fatigue
  • Pain when speaking
  • Throat clearing
  • Chronic cough
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Breathing problems
  • The sensation of a lump in the throat
  • The feeling that the throat is “closing up”
  • Choking

Specialty Care for Voice and Swallowing Concerns

San Antonio ENT also provides several specialized services and accepts patients from other practices looking for tailored solutions unavailable elsewhere. Some of our specialty services include:

Endoscopy Diagnosis for Swallowing Difficulties

A small, thin device known as an endoscope, tipped with a tiny camera and light, may be used in diagnosis. We offer a comprehensive examination called a Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) with sensory testing. During this exam, an endoscope is passed through the nose. FEES allows real-time review of internal structures. Incorporated sensory tests involve exposing areas of the throat to stimuli, enabling healthcare professionals to evaluate the nervous system’s responses. The procedure helps identify abnormalities, such as impaired sensation or coordination, that may contribute to swallowing difficulties.

Diagnosis of Speech Disorders with Videostroboscopy

Laryngeal videostroboscopy is a diagnostic tool used to assess issues in the larynx, or voice box. During this procedure, a specialized endoscope is inserted through the mouth. The camera captures stop-motion images of the vocal folds, allowing their high-speed vibratory patterns to be viewed in freeze-frame progression. This helps isolate irregularities in the vocal cords’ function and guide appropriate treatment plans.

McNeil Dysphagia Therapy Program

The McNeil Dysphagia Therapy Program is a specialized therapeutic approach addressing dysphagia, a medical term for swallowing difficulty (from the Greek “dys” meaning “difficulty” or “abnormality,” and “phagia” meaning “eating” or “swallowing”). This program focuses on personalized evaluations and interventions to improve the coordination and muscle function involved in swallowing using a combination of exercises and sensory-motor techniques.

VitalStim® Therapy for Swallowing Disorders

VitalStim therapy is a specialized approach that uses Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) to improve muscle strength and coordination. This may be especially helpful in patients with facial nerve disorders or reduced muscle control. Under the direction of an ENT specialist, electrodes are placed on the skin, and electrical currents are used to stimulate contractions in targeted muscles, aiding in muscle re-education and rehabilitation of the swallowing process.

Respiratory Retraining

The Buteyko Breathing Method, developed by Dr. Konstantin Buteyko in the 1950s, is a therapeutic approach designed to retrain and enhance breathing efficiency. The ultimate goal is to normalize breathing patterns. Widely used for respiratory issues like asthma and COPD, Buteyko is also believed to offer broader health benefits, such as stress reduction, improved sleep, and overall well-being.

Paradoxical Vocal Cord Dysfunction Treatment

Paradoxical Vocal Cord Dysfunction (PVCD) is a condition where the vocal cords, which are supposed to open during inhalation and close during exhalation, behave in reverse. This can result in symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, and a feeling of tightness in the throat, often mimicking asthma. Once this condition is diagnosed using our diagnostic tools, San Antonio ENT will provide treatment options, including breathing exercises, speech therapy, and, in some cases, medications to improve vocal cord function.

Background media

Speech Pathology

San Antonio ENT added speech services to the practice in 1998 to offer our patients a multi-disciplinary approach. State of the art equipment is used for assessment and treatment. Most insurance plans are accepted and our office will help you verify benefits prior to your appointment. Our Speech Pathologists work closely with the physicians and are specially trained to assess and treat adults.

Adult Population

The clinicians trained to treat adults specialize in voice and swallowing. They will make recommendations regarding non-medical solutions to your complaints which may include:

  • Hoarseness
  • Vocal fatigue
  • Pain when speaking
  • Throat clearing
  • Chronic cough
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Breathing problems
  • Sensation of lump in throat
  • Feeling of throat closing up
  • Choking

We are accepting referrals for

  • Laryngeal Videostroboscopy “Videostrobe”
  • Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing with Sensory Testing(FEES)
  • Swallowing Therapy – Our Speech Pathologists are trained practitioners for the McNeil
  • Dysphagia Therapy Program and Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) including
  • VitalStim therapy in addition to traditional therapies for swallowing problems.
  • VitalStim® Therapy for Swallowing Disorders (PDF)
  • Respiratory re-training including the Buteyko Breathing Method
  • Evaluation and Therapy for Voice Disorders
  • Paradoxical Vocal Cord Dysfunction (PDF)
  • Laryngectomy Care including TEP

Laryngectomy Care, Including TEP

A laryngectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the voice box. The method creates a stoma or opening in the neck. A Tracheoesophageal Puncture (TEP), a small hole between the windpipe and esophagus, is created concurrently to restore speech. Individuals can produce speech sounds by covering the stoma and manipulating throat and mouth muscles. While TEP restores verbal communication, it requires speech therapy and rehabilitation for optimal results. This specialized care is available at San Antonio ENT.

Empowering You With Expert Care

At San Antonio ENT, our compassion and commitment to your well-being shows in the broad spectrum of services we provide for our patients, some of which are rarely available elsewhere. Give us a call today to see how we can apply our years of combined expertise to empower you to overcome your unique challenges. 

Most insurance plans are accepted, and our office will help you verify benefits before your appointment.

With 3 convenient locations across the San Antonio area, we’re never far away.

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