Skip to main content
More Search Options
A member of our team will call you back within one business day.
Having a tracheostomy can affect your ability to talk and communicate with others. A speech therapist (a person trained to help people who have problems speaking) will work with you to address these problems. If you cannot talk, you can learn other ways to express your thoughts and feelings to others.
Whether you can talk after a tracheostomy depends on why you have the trachestomy tube (“trach tube”). Many people with trach tubes still have vocal cords and can use these vocal cords to talk.
Certain trach tubes are designed to help with talking. Your doctor or healthcare provider will help you decide whether one of these tubes is right for you.
If you can’t talk after your tracheostomy, you can still communicate. The tips below can help you do this. Your speech therapist and the rest of your healthcare team can also give you more suggestions.
Carry a pen and paper, a chalkboard, or a “wipe-off” board with you. Use them to write quick notes to others.
Use flash cards that say basic things, such as “thirsty” or “restroom.”
Try using a board with all the letters of the alphabet on it. Point to the letters to spell words.
Agree on the meanings of hand gestures with friends and family members.
Use facial expressions, such as a smile. They can help others understand how you’re feeling.