Did you know September was Healthy Aging Month? In support of this awareness campaign, Speech Associates of NY will dedicate this week’s blog to a topic not many people consider as they age: keeping their voice sounding young.
Everywhere you look there are products designed to make you look as young as possible, from wrinkle creams to hair dye to plastic surgery. But increasingly, people are taking an interesting in sounding young as well. A recent article in AARP discussed how many aging adults are seeking assistance in retaining the strong, commanding, dynamic voice of their youth.
As we age, all of the muscles of the body begin to atrophy or grow weaker. This includes the muscles of the vocal folds, which can result in presbylaryngis, or changes in vocal quality due to aging. Presbylaryngis is common in adults over sixty. Some of the common issues associated with presbylaryngis are:
- Decreased Volume: Projecting your voice is more difficult when the vocal folds are weaker, resulting in a weaker, thinner voice.
- Pitch Changes: As we age, men’s voices tend to become higher in pitch, while women’s voices become lower.
- Overall Vocal Quality: On the whole, the voice becomes less vibrant and dynamic. Vocal quality associated with presbylaryngis is often described as breathy, thin, or reedy. In addition, vocal tremors may become an issue.
Although presbylaryngis is a normal part of aging, many people want to retain the vocal quality of their youth for as long as possible. Luckily, studies have shown that voice therapy from a speech-language pathologist can effectively improve the effects of presbylaryngis. A speech-language pathologist can help improve breathing techniques to better support the voice and increase volume. They can also provide vocal exercises to strengthen muscles, reduce tension, and increase the closure of the vocal cords, all of which can improve overall vocal quality.
For information on our New York based Speech-Language Pathology services, please call Speech Associates of New York today at (212) 308-7725 or visit our website at http://www.speechassociatesofny.com and find out how our team of professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists can help!
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