Dysarthria requires prompt medical attention. See a doctor right away if you have sudden or unexplained changes in your ability to speak.
You'll likely start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. If your doctor suspects a medical condition is causing your symptoms, he or she will likely refer you to a nervous system specialist (neurologist) for further evaluation.
Here's what you can do to get ready for your appointment.
- Be aware of pre-appointment restrictions. Ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet.
- Write down your symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, including major stresses or recent life changes.
- List all medications, vitamins and supplements you take.
- Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Someone who accompanies you can help you remember information.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
For dysarthria, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- Is dysarthria the likely explanation for my symptoms?
- What are other possible explanations?
- What tests do I need?
- Should I see a specialist?
- Are there brochures or other printed material that I can have? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions, as well.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
May 24, 2012
- When did your symptoms begin?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Dysarthria. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/dysarthria/. Accessed Feb. 27, 2012.
- Goetz CG. Textbook of Clinical Neurology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:79.
- Dysarthria: Causes and number. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/DysarthriaCauses.htm. Accessed Feb. 27, 2012.
- Treatment efficacy summary — Dysarthria (neurological motor speech impairment). American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. http://www.asha.org/public/EfficacySummaries/. Accessed Feb. 27, 2012.
- Cohen SM, et al. Palliative treatment of dysphonia and dysarthria. Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America. 2009;42:107.
- Ropper AH, et al. Adams & Victor's Principles of Neurology. 9th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2009. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=54. Accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
- Neurological diagnostic tests and procedures. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/misc/diagnostic_tests.htm. Accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
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