Speech

  • Two female friends talking at an MS Society support group

For most people, changes in speech due to MS are mild.

Speech difficulties can come and go throughout the day, perhaps lasting only a few minutes at a time, and may be a symptom that appears during a relapse.

Speech difficulties of some kind affect between 40 and 50 per cent of people with MS. Not everyone is aware that MS can cause this problem, and can make assumptions about why your speech is affected.

Woman talking to friends at an MS Society support group

Some people feel uncomfortable in social situations because of their speech difficulties. Other people’s assumptions can sometimes cause embarrassment.

Find out more about speech problems in MS.

Speech is a complicated process. Speaking involves physical actions to produce sound, as well as thoughts and responses from the brain which control these actions and decide what will be said.

 

MS damage in different parts of the brain affects the way speech is produced. This can cause problems that may come and go including slurred speech, low volume or a weak voice.

Find out about the causes of speech problems.

A man chatting with friends to an MS Society support group

The first step in managing speech difficulties is to identify the specific problem, or problems, you are having. Your doctor or MS nurse can refer you to a speech and language therapist. 

 

Man with MS undergoing an assessment with his speech therapist

The speech and language therapist will work with you to find techniques and exercises that help.

Find out about ways to treat and manage speech problems.

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