Head & Neck Cancer

Voice therapy is a specialized area of therapy provided by Idaho Speech & Swallow, aimed at treating voice disorders ranging from hoarseness and voice loss to more severe conditions like vocal cord nodules or paralysis. This therapy, typically conducted by skilled speech-language pathologists (SLPs), employs a variety of techniques to improve the strength, endurance, and quality of the voice, with the primary goal of achieving optimal vocal function with minimal effort.

What is Voice Therapy?

Voice therapy at Idaho Speech & Swallow involves personalized techniques, evidenced-based and exercises designed to enhance vocal health. This type of therapy benefits those with voice disorders due to misuse or overuse, as well as individuals suffering from medical conditions affecting the voice.

Conditions Treated by Voice Therapy

Idaho Speech & Swallow's voice therapy can address conditions such as:

  • Vocal nodules and polyps: benign growths caused by vocal strain.
  • Vocal cord paralysis: a lack of movement in one or both vocal cords.
  • Reinke’s edema: vocal cord swelling due to fluid buildup.
  • Muscle tension dysphonia: excessive tension in the laryngeal muscles.
  • Laryngitis: inflammation of the larynx leading to voice issues.

Techniques Used in Voice Therapy

At Idaho Speech & Swallow, voice therapy may include:

  1. Vocal Hygiene: Educating patients on caring for their voice to avoid strain.
  2. Breathing Exercises: Enhancing respiratory support for voice production.
  3. Phonation Exercises: Improving vocal cord vibration for clearer sound.
  4. Resonance Training: Adjusting voice resonance for better quality.
  5. Relaxation Techniques: Minimizing tension around the vocal mechanism.
  6. Strengthening Exercises: Building the endurance of vocal muscles.

Benefits of Voice Therapy

Participants in voice therapy at Idaho Speech & Swallow can experience:

  • Improved vocal quality and ease of speaking.
  • Reduction in voice strain and discomfort.
  • Enhanced communication abilities.
  • Prevention of further vocal damage.

Who Can Benefit?

Voice therapy is beneficial for everyone, not just professional voice users like singers or teachers. It is particularly valuable for those with vocations demanding frequent vocal use and individuals with medical conditions that affect vocal function.


Voice therapy offered by Idaho Speech & Swallow is an effective treatment for individuals facing voice challenges. Through comprehensive therapy programs tailored to each client's needs, patients can expect to improve their vocal health and overall communication, enhancing their quality of life. The success of voice therapy largely depends on the individual's adherence to the therapy program and the specific nature of their voice disorder.

What is FEES?

Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing. This is a procedure that assesses how well you swallow through the use of a small flexible endoscope.  During the procedure, a certified Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) passes a thin, flexible instrument through your nose. The SLP views parts of your throat as you swallow different food textures that have food dye in them. The endoscope allows the SLP to see parts of your larynx, pharynx and trachea on a video screen. The procedure usually takes 5-10 minutes and has very minimal risks involved. Research shows the risks associated with endoscopy are mild and extremely rare (less than 1%) with minimal discomfort. The biggest risk is experiencing epistaxis (nose bleed).

Why would it be needed?

A FEES procedure can help assess if you are having any problems with food or liquid passing through your throat and protecting your airway. You may need this test if you have trouble swallowing (dysphagia). With dysphagia, there may be an impairment with the muscular coordination and strength needed for efficient and safe swallowing. Dysphagia can lead to food or fluid going into the airway or lungs (aspiration). This can lead to pneumonia and other problems, so it’s important to promptly identify and treat your dysphagia if you have it. Symptoms of dysphagia include coughing or choking during or after eating or drinking, feeling like food is caught in your throat, a wet gurggly sounding voice, pain while swallowing, difficulty starting a swallow, eyes or nose watering while eating or drinking, food or liquids coming out of the nose, recurring pneumonia or chest congestion after eating, weight loss or dehydration from not being able to eat enough, drooling, and a fear of choking. There are many conditions that might cause dysphagia, such as: head and neck cancer, brain injury, neurological disease (Parkinson's Disease, ALS, etc.), stroke, esophageal impairments, GERD/Reflux, muscular dystrophies, aging swallow, etc.

FEES vs Other Swallowing Assessments:

FEES is quick, easy, and can be conveniently done in our office without fasting, anesthesia, or other considerations! Idaho Speech & Swallow can share the results immediately after the test. You can even watch the test if you would like!

A clinical swallow evaluation can only give us information about the "oral stage" of swallowing (biting and chewing), instrumental assessments allow us to visualize further down in the throat to see the "pharyngeal stage" of swallowing and identify aspiration or abnormalities. FEES, unlike other instrumental swallowing assessments, does not require that you travel to a hospital imaging center or expose you to radiation - so the evaluation can also be repeated to measure therapy progress without risk.

Normal Larynx
Airway Invasion
Acid Injured Larynx
(red tissues, swelling)

Cammy, a dedicated Speech-language Pathologist with almost a decade of experience, graduated with a Master’s of Science from the University of Montana. She has worked across various settings, including inpatient, outpatient, home health, and skilled nursing, developing a keen passion for serving the adult and geriatric populations. Cammy is committed to providing holistic, high-quality therapy that focuses on treating the individual, not just the patient. With dreams of owning a private practice that offers superior service free from corporate constraints, she aims to deliver comprehensive, functional therapy. Outside of her professional life, Cammy enjoys adventures with her family and dog, embracing an active, outdoor lifestyle...


  • 55 yr old male - In Boise

    The Idaho Speech And Swallow Services was the only one who could resolve swallowing issues in one of my family members. Cammy Lawlor, who is the speech pathologist, is the best educated speech pathologist we have run into after encountering several of them after a hospitalization. I highly recommend her as she is very knowledgeable, professional, and personable. Don’t give up hope if you have swallowing issues. I’m sure Cammy will be able to help you!

  • 57 yr old female - In Eagle

    Cammy Lawlor SLP is a superb speech therapist, and I really appreciated her expertise, compassion, encouragement and support throughout the therapeutic journey.  She is very knowledgeable in her field and has excellent contacts in the valley for other health care resources as well.  I highly recommend her!

  • 44 yr old female - In Meridian

    Finding Cammy was a blessing. My husband was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s and we needed someone that worked with Parkinson’s patients and the speak out program. Cammy was able to connect with my husband and help increase his volume, slow his speech and make him  more aware as he spoke. The lessons were invaluable. She is very connected to the Parkinson’s community  and has been helpful with advice and resources. We love her!!! Best decision ever.

  • 32 yr old female - In Boise

    Our client was referred to Cammy after we had little success using another speech and swallow service through the hospital. Our client had reservations of trying again but Cammy put their fears at ease almost instantly. She was wonderful! Very knowledgeable, very thorough and tailored her treatment to the clients specific needs. As a Care Manager for a non-profit with multiple clients we will definitely be requesting her again and again! Absolutely amazing service!

  • 52 yr old female - In Boise

    So helpful! Cammy brings her wealth of knowledge, treasury of resources, and her love of helping people heal into every session. We love having her on our therapy team as we navigate this healing process.

  • 63 yr old female - In Boise

    Cammy is amazing at her profession. So in tune with her patients. She definitely goes above and beyond any other therapist(s) I have been to. I had 2 cervical spine fusion surgeries, 6 months apart. My post surgical repercussions included: my throat, swallowing, esophagus, larynx, vocal cords, the function of my hyoid bone, epiglottis, severe nerve and muscle damage etc. I am still recovering but I have tons of hope because of her treatment to and for me.I hope I got this right :)Thank goodness for you Cammy!


We’d love to hear from you. Here’s how you can reach us.

“Cammy has helped and taught me so much, my memory has improved with the strategies she showed me”

-84 yr old female with Mild Cognitive Impairment

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