LOSS OF SPEECH
Speech is the expression of or the ability to express one’s self-thoughts and feelings using sounds or words. However, if a person experiences difficulty in expressing him or herself through sounds, whether there is an absence of speech or speech impairment such as slurred, slowed, hoarse, stuttered or rapid speech, it will cause him the ability to live a normal life, unless he or she will be able to cope with the condition.
There are several types of speech loss. These are:
- Aphasia – this condition occurs when the region of the brain that is responsible for language is damaged
- Dysarthria – is a speech problem that is characterized by slurred speech that can be difficult to understand. Usually, dysarthria is caused by conditions such as stroke
- Vocal disturbance – these are conditions that will affect the vocal cords from being able to produce sound
- Spasmodic dysphonia
Speech loss can be caused by many conditions that can affect the brain or the side of the brain that is responsible for making audible sounds or make a coherent speech that is understandable.
There are many causes of adult speech impairment; it can be caused by an underlying condition such as:
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted. When the brain doesn’t have sufficient blood, brain cells will die. If the affected area is responsible for speech then the individual will have speech difficulty
A traumatic brain injury
A traumatic brain injury occurs when there is a violent blow or jolt to the head causing brain death to the cells.
Degenerative neurological disorders
This is a group of condition that destroys motor neurons, nerve cells that are responsible for movement in the musculoskeletal system.
Vocal cord injuries
Examples include laryngitis or inflammation of the larynx, vocal cord paralysis or spasmodic dysphonia.
Dementia is a disorder in the mental process of the brain, which is usually caused by different brain disease or injury.
The treatment for speech loss will depend on the cause of the problem. There will be diagnostic tests that will be performed by professionals to determine the speech impairment. You may be referred to a speech-language pathologist who can help you conduct exercises that will strengthen your vocal cords, increase vocal control, improvement of articulation, including your ability to express and receive communication.
If you think you are suffering from Loss of Speech you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Loss of Speech as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).