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Home / How to use Electrolarynx /

Tips For Using Electrolarynx

Electrolarynx How To Guide

Tips For Using Electrolarynx

by Benjamin Holden

Speech and electrolarynx

The ability to speak and communicate is one of the unique human characteristics. This is fundamental to many activities of daily living and directly affects the social status of a person.
Loss of voice can result in a devastating decrease in one’s quality of life. The precipitate significant frustration over the inability to communicate with other people can lead to adverse mental and psychological related problems.

An electrolarynx is a  battery-powered, speech-assistive device designed to be used by a person who has had their larynx removed (laryngectomy) to assist them in the reproduction of sounds similar to those produced by the vocal cords in normal speech. It is an externally applied electromechanical device (also known as a neck-type artificial larynx). The appropriate movement of the lips, tongue, teeth, and jaw converts the tone into meaningful speech.
The device comes in different types about the size of a small electric razor. The medical device is used by individuals who have lost their voice box due to cancer of the larynx. It develops the so-called robot voice.

Tips on how to use Electrolarynx

If this is the first time you are using the Labex Electronic larynx speech aid device, we advise you to simply start learning how to speak with the device without making any adjustments to the tone or volume. The most important thing is to locate the "sweet spot" on your neck area. 

 A sweet spot will allow sound to transmit through your neck tissue and your oral cavity with the most clarity. The easiest way to find your sweet spot is to place the artificial Electrolarynx on your neck at different points while you activate the power button and try to pronounce one syllable. This is done until you hear the best projection through your mouth. Finding your sweet spot is the essential and sometimes the hardest part of having quality results with your artificial larynx. While looking for a sweet spot, it is crucial that you press the unit firmly against your neck tissue, so the sound transmits through your next tissue and out your oral cavity. If you do not press it firmly, you will have a problem of sound escaping and thus making your speech too loud and unclear. If you press the electrolarynx firmly, the voice projected will sound better.

Please, keep in mind that right after radiation therapy it is possible that the skin of the neck is very thick and hard. This reduces the ability of the sound from the device to pass through the tissues of the throat and out of your mouth. This can make it difficult for you to initially find your sweet spot but the neck thickness is supposed to decrease in 7 / 14 days.   

How to become better

Once you find your spot, you can now form words using the artificial larynx device. One thing you should keep in mind is that, while you are trying to speak with your speech aid, you need to over articulate the words and not to speak very fast so that your speech is more clear and understandable for the others. If you do not articulate strongly, your voice will sound like some mushy voice coming out of your mouth and people will have trouble understanding you. One way to practice articulation is to say what you want to say without an artificial larynx device exaggerating your articulation. A good exercise is the use of tongue twisters. If you want to be understood, speak slowly and release the power button between the words.

All Labex devices have pitch/tone and volume control. You can see how they are changed for the different models here:

Adjustment Tutorials

 

Before getting a brand new electrolarynx device, kindly inquire if you can change your tone or pitch as you want. It is important to note that it depends on how an individual is experienced to use the electrolarynx. Not every person can get excellent results. It all depends on how long a person has been using the device. Older people planning to use the device must be patient with it if they intend to attain excellent results.

Please consider joining our Labex Support Center for Laryngectomee FB group:.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/labexsupportforlaryngectomee

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