Many individuals note that with age the voice changes making it more difficult to produce sound and to be understood by others. With age, the layers of the vocal fold thin preventing them from vibrating normally. Thinner vocal folds cause a "breathy" voice due to constant air escape, which in turn causes individuals to be tired at the end of a long conversation or tire easily in a loud environment.
Research has shown that the nerves which control the vocal folds may become less efficient. With aging it has been noted that the number of neural connections decrease, reducing the efficiency of the vocal fold system.
Management of voice problems related to aging may include:
Unforutnatley not all voice changes in the aging population are due to natural causes – concerning conditions such as laryngeal cancer or vocal fold paralysis are often misdiagnosed as "changes with aging," delaying necessary treatment.
If you have noticed voice changes it is important to be evaluated by a laryngologist. To make an appointment with Dr. Sunil Verma, Director of the Voice and Swallowing Center, or Dr. Roger Crumley please click here to request an appointment or call (714) 456-7017.