How can a piano help an ENT specialist? It may sound strange but experts are using it to diagnose and treat voice disorders. “The first important step towards correcting voice disorder is to listen, in order to detect the disorder. So we ask the patient to speak at highest pitch. Simultaneously, we also play the piano and on each key, we record and document the pitch of his voice,” an American speech and voice disorders specialist James P Thomas said. Thomas, based in Oregon, is in the capital for a two-day workshop on ENT being organised at the Army Hospital Research and Referral (AHR&R).
“As a person speaks, a camera is passed from the nasal way to the wind pipe. The camera takes pictures as fast as possible on the movement of the defective vocal cords,” HoD of the ENT department, AHR&R, Surgeon Captain S Badhwar said. Once diagnosis is done, surgery or speech therapy is suggested. “Surgery is suggested for vocal overdoers or people who like to talk and typically suffer from swellings on the vocal folds and vocal underdoers or people who don’t talk much and typically suffer from thinning or atrophy of the vocal folds,” Director General of Armed Forces Medical Services Lieutenant General Yogendra Singh said.
On the procedure, Captain Badhwar said, “We steal a nerve from neck and hook it to one of the voice cords.” Once done, the patient is again made to go through the piano session.