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Speech Issues Due to MS

January 26, 2016

One issue that any MS patients may be forced to deal with is mild or severe problems speaking. This could be something that is prevalent right away or something that gets worse over a certain amount of time.

A few problems that a patient might face include:

  • "Scanning Speech”- A patient could be talking normally and have their speech pattern interrupted by a pauses.

  • Slurred words- The tongue or lip muscles become weak and the speaker could become hard to understand. Often compared to someone who is intoxicated.

  • Unable to change voice-tone

  • A “nasally” sounding voice. The speaker tends to sound like they have a cold.

Most clinicians will recommend a speech therapist to figure out what part of your speech is lacking. Some things can also be done on your own:

  • Exercises that strengthen or relax the vocal chords can improve how well the jaw and tongue move.

  • Using strategies other than speech to communicate with others such as hand motions or simplified phrases to indicate bigger words or sentences.

  • Practice breath exercises. Speaking longer in one breath can limit pauses.