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Aphasia is difficulty using language following a stroke or other condition that affects the language areas of the brain. People with aphasia can have trouble understanding, thinking of words or putting together sentences. People with aphasia may also having difficulty reading and writing. Aphasia can be severe, where a person is not able to speak, or very mild, where there are only occasional difficulties in noisy, high stress environments.
Cognitive skills include memory, attention, organization, reasoning, and problem solving. When a neurological condition affects any of these functions, the ability to communicate, have lengthy or complex conversations, return to work or return to school can be difficult.
Neurological conditions can change in the intelligibility of your speech because of changes in the strength, movement or coordination of the lips, tongue, jaw and palate. This is called dysarthria. People with dysarthria may have difficulty being understood because their speech is not clear.
Surgery, radiation or chemotherapy used to treat cancer in the mouth, throat or neck can result in speech, swallowing or voice changes. After your cancer is controlled, individualized treatment to address these changes can have a great effect on improving your quality of life.
A change in your voice such as persistent hoarseness, high or low pitch, or difficulty being heard in conversation can be a sign of a voice disorder. You can feel like you are running out of air, straining or fatiguing when you speak. Voice disorders can result from illness, certain medical conditions, stress and lifestyle. Misuse of the voice, breathing ineffectively or bad vocal habits such as yelling or throat clearing can be damaging to your vocal cords
Following an appropriate medical assessment, voice therapy is often the treatment of choice for voice disorders.