Talking is the ability of humans to communicate and share thoughts; we often take for granted. What if someday you can’t get words out of your mouth? The thread between you and the others gets lost.
Speech problems or complete loss of speech can arise out of nowhere, either temporarily or with a lasting impact.
According to the National Institute of Speech and Hearing, Speech disorders can be present alone or due to other neurological diseases such as dysarthria and cerebral palsy.
Types of Speech Disorders
It is the inability to express and comprehend language. If you’re having difficulty in thinking of words or pronouncing them correctly, you may be experiencing aphasia. It can be a symptom of brain damage, for example, caused by a stroke. It takes place typically due to brain damage. Other potential causes of aphasia include-head trauma, brain tumor, degenerative cognitive conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Characterized by slurred or choppy speech, it can be a result of degenerative muscle and motor conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, or Parkinson’s disease. It can occur when you have trouble moving the muscles of your lips, tongue, vocal folds, or diaphragm.
a) Spasmodic dysphonia, which can make your voice loud, airy, and tight
b) Vocal disturbances or changes in the sound of your speech
Symptoms Of Speech Loss/Impairment
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People with one or more speech disorders might experience the following symptoms-
1. Repeating of sounds
2. Difficulty in pronunciation
3. Speaking with a loud voice
4. Struggling to say the correct word
5. Rearranging syllables
Causes of Speech Problems
There are different causes behind the types of speech impairment or loss. You may develop speech problems due to the following:
1. a stroke
2. a severe brain injury
3. an injury or illness that affects your vocal cords
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that changes the way the brain sends signals between the cells and the rest of the body. People with Multiple Sclerosis can have speech issues ranging from severe to mild. It creates trouble coordinating the muscles in your mouth and cheeks, making it hard to speak.
Brain cancer is a type of tumor that affects the brain severely, which handles all the actions of our body. If the tumor is in the part of the brain that controls language, it could affect your speech.
Common symptoms of Brain Cancer are headache, memory loss, nausea, seizure and difficulty in completing daily chores.
People with Epilepsy have a type of seizure that causes a sudden burst of brain activity. They may also make strange noises and not realize they have done it.
Seizures can result due to strokes or brain tumor that affects the language zones and often speech loss.
Lack of focus speech can also occur due to medical and psychological conditions. Mutism can come into existence as a sign of Catatonia, a state in which the person is unresponsive but awake. It may also be a result of severe depression or emotional disorders.
The absence of speech can also be due to deafness in children.
Speech related problems can occur suddenly or gradually with time, depending on the cause.
Diagnosis of Speech Problems
A speech-language pathologist (SLP) is a professional who specializes in speech and language disorders. They will also examine how a person moves their lips, jaw, and tongue and may inspect the muscles of the mouth too.
An SLP will evaluate the person for various symptoms and will make proper arrangements for the diagnosis.
1. Speech therapy exercises that focus on words and sounds
2. Physical activities that focus on muscle strengthening
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The Accelerated Critical Illness benefit includes diseases such as stroke resulting in permanent symptoms, Alzheimer’s disease, Motor Neuron disease-causing continuous symptoms, Multiple Sclerosis and Loss of speech.
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