The Aging Voice
Aging of voice is an unseen issue perceived by sounding old. This involves a widespread change throughout the upper and lower airway mainly affected by the change in anatomy and physiology of vocal fold/cord. Thinning of laryngeal mucosa, atrophy of vocal muscles, reduced movement of cricoarytenoid joint, reduced lung volume and capacities; reduced movement of tongue, jaw as well systemic conditions may all affect the normal voice in older ages. Higher pitch voice in men, lower pitch voice in women, thin voice, vocal fatigue, difficulty in being heard in noisy situations, tremor or shakiness in the voice are common changes found in old people. Various pathological conditions of larynx may cause voice change similar to aging voice. This can be differentiated endoscopically by an experienced Otolaryngologist. Avoidance of smoking, shouting, gastric reflux, resting the throat during a cold attack are simple measures that can delay aging process of our voice. Voice related quality of life index is a quick & easy measurement of voice quality based on changes in last two weeks. Voice therapy and phonosurgery with injectable materials in vocal fold can improve the voice in advanced age.
BSMMU J 2012; 5(1):83-86