An artificial larynx device, also known as an electrolarynx, is a battery-operated device that produces sound for people who have lost their voice box, usually due to cancer of the larynx. The most common type of artificial larynx is a handheld device that is placed against the neck, under the chin, when you want to speak. When you push a button on the device, the electrolarynx produces a vibration that is transferred through the skin to the throat. These vibrations cause the vocal cords to vibrate, which produces sound.
There are also other types of artificial larynx devices, including:
- UltraVoice Speaking Device: This is a miniature radio built into dentures or a retainer that creates a natural sound in the mouth that the talker converts to words simply by speaking.
- Tracheoesophageal voice prosthesis (TEP): This is a surgically implanted device that allows air to flow from the lungs into the esophagus, where it vibrates the esophageal walls to produce sound.
- Esophageal speech: This is a technique that involves learning to produce sound by contracting the muscles in the esophagus.
Artificial larynxes can be a helpful tool for people who have lost their voice due to laryngectomy. They can help people to communicate more effectively and to regain a sense of normalcy in their lives.
Here are some of the benefits of using an artificial larynx:
- Improved communication: Artificial larynxes can help people who have lost their voice to communicate more effectively. They can be used to speak in a normal voice, and they can also be used to make phone calls and to participate in other activities that require speech.
- Regained sense of normalcy: Artificial larynxes can help people who have lost their voice to regain a sense of normalcy in their lives. They can help people to return to work, to socialize with friends and family, and to participate in activities that they enjoy.
- Increased independence: Artificial larynxes can help people who have lost their voice to become more independent. They can be used to communicate in any situation, and they do not require any special training or equipment.
If you have lost your voice due to laryngectomy, an artificial larynx may be a helpful tool for you. Talk to your doctor about whether an artificial larynx is right for you.