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What exactly is dysarthria?

The disorder in question is actually a type of speech disorder, which is characterized by either slow or slurred speech, which is difficult to understand. The difficulty to control or coordinate those muscles that are involved in the process of speaking, as well as weakness of these muscles are also characteristics of this disorder, and this is exactly what causes speech poor articulation or problems with articulation. An injury to certain nerves, various degenerative disorders, or health conditions such as stroke, brain tumor and similar which result in facial paralysis are the most commonly identified causes of dysarthria. Besides them, there are also medications that might cause this speech problem, and narcotics are among them as well.

As for the symptoms that occur in people with dysarthria, aside from slurred or slower speech, those that are most obvious are whispering due to the inability to speak louder, nasal or strained quality of voice, irregular rhythm of speech, which is usually either uneven or abnormal, as well as uneven speech volume. People with this problem are also very likely to have difficulty to move their facial muscles or tongue, which might further result in drooling.

Therapy for dysarthria

First of all, the doctor should be visited as soon as changes of this kind are noticed and particularly if there is no reasonable explanation for their occurrence. Due to the seriousness of possible underlying causes, prompt medical attention might be of crucial importance for successful recovery.

The therapy for this disorder is primarily based and focused on the treatment of the underlying cause, provided it is possible to treat it, of course. The treatment of the condition that caused the problem usually brings the improvement in speech as well, although very often speech therapists need to be involved in the treatment. In case a medication is responsible for the occurrence of the speech disorder in question, it is usually enough to change it with some other medication and in such cases, the problem is temporary.

If a person is suggested to go through the speech and language therapy, then the speech-language pathologist will determine how serious the problem is and what treatment plan will be the most suitable. Not all the cases can be treated successfully and in such cases it is usually suggested to learn to use other methods of communication, but the truth is that in many cases speech can be improved significantly, or at least to the level which will allow a person to communicate effectively.  

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