Speech TherapySpeech-language pathology is the treatment of communication disorders including speech, language, and swallowing disorders. These include disorders such as vocal cord dysfuncion (VCD) or paradoxical vocal fold motion (PVFM), chronic cough, swallowing disorders or dysphagia, chronic hoarseness and other voice disorders.


Our Services

  • Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD) or Paradoxical Vocal Fold Motion (PVFM) Management
    VCD is the abnormal closure of the vocal cords when they should be open. Symptoms of VCD can mimic symptoms of asthma and VCD can also co-occur with asthma. Patients with both VCD and asthma, often find increased difficulty treating their asthma symptoms. The proper diagnosis of VCD is important. Contributing irritants for the upper airway such as chronic cough/throat clearing behavior, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)), laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), and chronic post-nasal drainage must be managed. Speech Pathologists at National Jewish Health have experience helping the patient manage irritation to the upper airway: such as chronic cough and throat clearing behavior. Speech therapy is a very important part of the treatment for VCD. Special exercises increase the awareness of abdominal breathing and relax the throat muscles.

  • Videostroboscopy
    Videostroboscopy is a state-of-the-art technique that provides a magnified, slow-motion view of your vocal cords in action. It slows down the motion of the vocal folds in order to identify subtle changes in vibratory patterns that are diagnostically significant. It enables physicians to make an accurate diagnosis of conditions and diseases of the vocal cords. The examination is conducted by a speech-language pathologist (SLP) or physician who specializes in laryngeal disorders. To help the physician or SLP view the vocal cords, a small, angled telescope will be placed into your mouth or a flexible telescope may be placed through your nose. You will be asked to repeat several words and make specific sounds to make your vocal cords vibrate.

  • Chronic Cough Control
    Speech Pathologists at National Jewish Health are trained in providing cough control techniques to help with chronic, dry coughing. Treatment provided for chronic cough can also involve evaluation of the patients swallowing, if swallowing difficulty is also present. Exercises to help prevent the vocal folds from slamming together and open the upper airway are also provided to eliminate the harsh and abusive nature of chronic cough for the vocal folds. Voice therapy may also be part of treatment for chronic cough if hoarseness is ongoing for over 2 weeks.

  • Swallowing Disorders or Dysphagia Evaluation
    The Speech Pathology Department at National Jewish Health provides evaluation and treatment of swallowing disorders that may involve the mouth and/or the throat. When an individual has a swallowing problem it could put them at higher risk of getting food or liquids into their lungs. Food or liquid in the lungs or airway is also known as aspiration. Aspiration can contribute to chronic lung infections or to other lung diseases. The evaluation of the swallowing mechanism may involve use of fluoroscopy (moving x-ray) or endoscopy to assess the protection of the airway and to also find appropriate therapy methods to improve the swallow.

  • Voice Disorder Evaluation
    The Speech Pathology Department at National Jewish Health can evaluate and treat voice disorders - including laryngectomy. Chronic hoarseness or a change in the voice for over 2 weeks is a concern. An individual may have a change in their voice quality possibly due to a neurological change or due to misuse of their voice. It is important for the individual to have a full evaluation by an Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) physician to determine the underlying cause of the individuals voice problems. The ENT diagnosis allows the Speech Pathologist to provide the appropriate voice treatment.

  • Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT®)
    Our speech-language pathologists now provide LSVT®, which is the first effective method for treating voice and speech disorders in individuals with Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders. Learn more.


Clinical Trials

Combination Therapy for Pediatric Asthma Patients

Our researchers are studying an investigational combination of medications, one used to treat asthma in adults and the other not yet approved to treat adult asthma, to determine if it can improve symptoms and lung function in asthma patients age 5 to 17.

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Reasons to Choose National Jewish Health

  • The leading respiratory hospital in the nation and the only one devoted fully to the treatment of respiratory and related illnesses
  • Ranked as one of the top two hospitals in pulmonology every year since U.S. News & World Report included this category in its annual “Best Hospitals” survey
  • Ranked in the top 1 percent of hospitals in the nation by HCAHPS
  • Physicians consistently recognized among the best in the nation by multiple services, including Best Doctors in America and Castle Connolly
  • Among the top 6 percent of organizations funded for research by the NIH, providing patients access to more than 300 active clinical trials
  • 121-year history of focus on care, research and education serving thousands of patients with lung, heart, immune and related disorders


Team Helps Teen Pursue his Passion

Breath control is something every performer must master. For dancers, good breathing technique can add not only to endurance, but also to fluidity and grace. It can add power to an actor’s speech. Breath control is especially important and challenging for 18-year old Kendrick Trujillo, who suffers from severe asthma and allergies. Thanks to his multidisciplinary team at National Jewish Health, Trujillo has mastered breath control well enough to pursue dance and theatre studies as he heads off to college.

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