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Lung Health is our
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Speech Therapy

Speech Pathology and its role in Adult Respiratory Care

The Lung Health Clinic regards Speech Pathology as an important resource for respiratory patients. It provides an efficient and effective approach to resolving chronic cough as well as symptoms due to vocal cord dysfunction or poorly coordinated breathing.

Kate Baumwol, Speech Pathologist

Kate is a certified practicing Speech Pathologist with over 15 years’ experience. She specialises in cough and breathlessness in patients with respiratory and ENT disorders. She heads the joint ENT/Speech Pathology Voice Clinic and the Speech Pathology Chronic Cough Clinic at SCGH. She is an adjunct lecturer at Curtin University and is on the board of the Laryngology Society of Australasia.

 

What happens when you attend for Speech Therapy?

When Kate sees you she will take a detailed history as this is essential to obtaining a clear description of symptoms and making an accurate diagnosis. Kate will then provide education on laryngeal and respiratory function as this is an important first step in treating patients. Various speech therapy techniques will then be applied and tailored to each patient’s needs and trigger factors.

 

Chronic cough

Therapy includes teaching techniques to help voluntary control of cough and reduce throat irritation.

Treatment approach will include:

  • Counselling and education about cough
  • Strategies to control cough
  • Upper airway health training to reduce laryngeal irritation

 

Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD) (Inducible Laryngeal Obstruction)

Vocal cord dysfunction is abnormal closing of the vocal cords making breathing difficult and mimics asthma.  

Kate will assess your history, symptoms and treatment response to determine if VCD is present, while also beginning therapy.  Therapy involves education, individualised exercises and techniques and educational counselling. The goal of therapy is to teach you to prevent, and ultimately eliminate VCD.

 

Dysfunctional Breathing

This occurs when the coordination of movements required for smooth air flow are abnormal and need to be addressed with appropriate exercises

 

How many visits are usually needed?

In order to make a long lasting impact you will generally require 4 sessions with Kate, depending on the severity and complexity of your condition.