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Slurred Speech Causes

Slurred Speech Causes

Verbal communication is the strongest way to express our feelings and a slurred speech can be a hurdle in this path. This article gives valuable insight on the causes, symptoms and treatment of this speech problem.
Palmira S
Last Updated: Feb 8, 2018
Slurred speech is scientifically called "dysarthria" and is also known as motor speech disorder. Pronunciation of words becomes difficult in this disorder, and there are varied reasons for it. In some cases, impaired mobility will also accompany slurred speech. This is a condition, which might either develop slowly with time or trigger suddenly after an incident. A clear speech is a result of the proper functioning of mouth, tongue, brain and larynx (vocal cords).
The generation of speech is a complicated process and it depends upon coordination of different muscles. The placement of lips, tongue, teeth and soft palate takes in a wrong form which gives rise to distorted speech. Many times, speech disorders like shuttering, nasal speech, overly rapid speech, poorly articulated speech, etc., are mistaken to be slurred speech.
Brain stroke or any other brain injury, brain tumor
Facial paralysis
Bell's palsy
Excess consumption of alcohol or narcotics and sedatives
Hypoglycemic attacks
Migraine and delirium
Parkinson's disease
Cerebral palsy
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease)
Muscular dystrophy
Certain types of medications
Difficulty in talking, incoherent and distorted speech, low volume, weak voice and slower speech are some of its symptoms.
The victim will also experience difficulty with resonance and pitch control. The victim's voice will appear as if he/she is speaking from the nose.
People also tend to take long pauses in between the words. The occurrence of errors are more when the sentences are complex and long.
The person will be unable to coo with the vowels. He/she will also experience difficulty in using consonant sounds.
Few possible treatments include:

Improving pronunciation which would result in a clearer speech;
Alternate means of communication like electronic or computer-based instruments;
Muscle strengthening, which decreases the rate of speech;
Deep breathing.

There is not much that can be done for the treatment at home. But, keeping yourself away from heavy and fried foods can help to some extent. However; it can help only if the underlying problem is not very grave. It is a must to know the underlying cause as this will help the speech-language pathologist in proper evaluation, diagnosis and treatment. Speech therapy can help people to regain their normal speech.
Useful Tips
Take frequent pauses while speaking and speak slowly.
Do not get disappointed if the opposite person is not understanding what you are trying to say; instead, use alternate methods to communicate like pointing or gesturing, writing down your message, etc.
If you start to feel tired, do not exaggerate your conversations as your speech might be harder to understand.
Make sure that your listener understands your talk.
Try to reduce the background noise.
The causes are most of the time serious and severe, so, it is recommended to visit a doctor. If you experience slurred speech all of a sudden, then the underlying reason may be serious and hence, medical treatment is required. If left untreated, then it can also lead to the loss of speech temporarily or permanently. Keep the mouth tissues strong and consume a healthy diet to avoid this ailment.