As the throat ages, a number of changes can occur which can make it difficult for individuals to produce voice or swallow normally.
The human vocal fold is a layered structure, with each layer playing an important role in the production of sound. 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.
Symptoms of aging voice problems may include:
The nerves which control the vocal folds may become less efficient. Vocal fold motion is due to a complex network of nerves which innervate, or power, the vocal folds. 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: