Who Gets a Voice Problem?
A well-functioning voice is an essential tool for one third of the work force. Anyone can get a problem with their voice through a combination of circumstances. Teachers, singers (bathroom, through to heavy metal and opera), lecturers, fitness instructors and call centre operators are the most common occupational groups seen in a voice clinic.
Even people who don’t speak a lot can have a voice problem if their voice technique is not efficient, if they continue to talk or sing whilst suffering from viral laryngitis or a cold, if they shout or need to talk over high noise levels or if they are under stress. Talking over high levels of noise in pubs, night clubs and at sporting events can make your voice more vulnerable and can damage your vocal folds.
Very few people know how to use their voice optimally. A voice problem may develop if they are placed in a position or job where they are required to speak for long periods of time over background noise or if they become stressed. It may not be a matter of just how much someone talks but more the way they do it!
Some voice problems are caused by mechanical problems or muscle weakness within the larynx rather than from overuse, stress or poor technique. This muscle weakness can occur as part of the aging process and many older people who have weak voices benefit from voice therapy. Vocal weakness also occurs as a result of paralysis of a vocal fold caused by damage to the nerve that causes the vocal folds to vibrate or other neurological problems. Nerves that operate the vocal folds can be affected by viral infections.