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Speech Problems - Slurred Speech

Speech depends on coordination of different parts in the mouth, including lips, tongue, palate, and also your teeth.

Slurred speech is just one of the many speech problems. People suffering from this condition are finding it difficult to pronounce words in general, and sometimes the inability to speak is associated with inability to move. The medical term for slurred speech is dysarthria. This problem may be just a temporary or, sometimes, permanent condition, depending on what caused it.

Speech disorders should be differentiated from slurred speech. Rapid, nasal or poorly expressed speeches are not the same as slurred speech.

Symptoms of Slurred Speech

Confused and indistinct speech is the main characteristics of slurred speech. These patients might also experience problems with talking, and with the volume and speed of their speech. Usually, they speak much slower than normal, with many pauses, they can be barely heard and their voice appears to be quite weak. Sometimes, they add some extra syllables to the words or make speech mistakes when speaking in long sentences.

Causes of Slurred Speech

The main causes of slurred speech are usually:

Abuse of some substances MedicationsFacial paralysis“Bell’s palsy”Brain injuries or strokeChemotherapyHypoglycemiaMedical conditions

Overuse of alcohol and narcotics, as well as some medications is known to cause slurred speech. The medications that increase the risk of developing the slurred speech are sedatives and narcotic pain killers. Some other medications, used in extremely high doses, may also provoke this condition.

“Bell’s palsy” is the facial paralysis that affects facial muscles, usually affecting the muscles on one side of the face. Facial paralyses in general might be responsible for slurred and distorted speech.

All kinds of brain injuries and stroke might provoke speech problems.

The cancer treatment may be the cause of slurred speech, because these patients may experience some coordination difficulties.

Hypoglycemic attack, migraine and delirium are also some of the causes of slurred speech.

Slurred Speech Therapy

The first step of the treatment is to properly diagnose the cause of slurred speech. If the problem behind the slurred speech is not a serious one, specialists advise to avoid fried and heavy foods, which is proven to be helpful. Speech therapy is recommended for patients with prominent symptoms of slurred speech.

In case that you are experiencing problems with this condition, keep in mind that the untreated slurred speech may lead to temporary or even permanent loss of speech.

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