Voice, Resonance, and Swallowing Conditions We Treat at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

Children who have voice, resonance, and swallowing issues often need advanced tests, medicines, surgery, and speech therapy.

As the first U.S. center of this kind, our experts diagnose and treat a wide range of speech and swallowing conditions. We use a team-based approach and offer a handy, one-stop shop.

Contact the Voice, Resonance, and Swallowing Center

Most kids visit our center after their doctors refer them to us.

Your doctor can refer your child to us for diagnosis, a second opinion, or treatment. Or you can call us to learn more about our services and book your child's appointment.

To refer a child or make your child's appointment, call 412-692-5460.

Voice Conditions We Treat at UPMC Children's Hospital

If your child has a voice condition, they may have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Scratchy, weak, raspy, hoarse, or breathy voice.
  • Trouble speaking loudly.
  • Increased effort to talk.
  • Pain or discomfort with speaking or singing.
  • Voice fatigue – problems that worsen the more your child uses the voice.
  • Change in singing voice – often due to injuries in young singers.
  • Voice squeaking, cracking, or pitch changes that happen outside of puberty.
  • Change in the voice after trauma or surgery to the neck, throat, or voice box.

At the children's Voice, Resonance, and Swallowing Center, we treat voice conditions such as:

  • Frequent laryngitis.
  • Muscle tension dysphonia – overly tight voice box muscles.
  • Lesions on the vocal cords, including cysts, polyps, and nodules.
  • Swelling of the vocal cords.
  • Granulomas (inflamed tissue) on the vocal cords.
  • Abnormalities in the muscle or cartilage structures of the voice box.
  • Respiratory or laryngeal papillomatosis – small, non-cancerous tumors that grow mostly on the voice box/larynx.
  • Vocal cord paralysis – nerve damage to one or both of the vocal cords.

Resonance Conditions We Treat

Problems with the way air flows through the nose and mouth in speech can cause one or more of these resonance conditions:

  • High-pitched or nasal-sounding speech.
  • Speech that has the effect of a stuffed nose.
  • Trouble saying certain consonants or vowels, which can cause mispronounced words.
  • A voice that sounds muffled.

Swallowing Conditions We Treat at UPMC Children's

Damage to the muscles or nerves in the throat can cause swallowing issues. Doctors call this dysphagia.

Kids with swallowing conditions may:

  • Choke or cough when eating or drinking.
  • Feel like food gets stuck in the throat when eating or drinking.
  • May have excessive saliva.