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Does Your Voice Match Your Age?

Everyone is aware of the physical changes that accompany growing older. You can’t go ten minutes without encountering an advertisement for wrinkle cream, or hair dye, or another product designed to keep you looking as young as possible for as long as possible. Increasingly, people are taking an interest in sounding young as well. Many aging adults are seeking professional help in retaining the strong, dynamic voice of their youth. This is of particular interest to those whose jobs rely on their voice, like actors, professional speakers, and professors. However, increasingly professionals from all backgrounds are realizing that maintaining a confident, commanding presence in the workplace can be significantly impacted by their vocal quality.

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.

If you have questions or are interested in improving your communication skills, give me a call at 212-308-7725 or send me an e-mail at info@corporatespeechsolutions.com. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have!

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