World Voice Day started in 2002. It always falls on the 16th of April. The goal of this national day is to bring awareness to vocal health and practices that help keep the vocal cords and voice box healthy. The voice does change as you age. How can you tell when changes to the voice indicate a problem?
If you notice that the voice sounds hoarse or breathy, weak or shaky, it can be an indicator that there is a problem. If there is throat pain when you’re trying to talk or a sudden change that doesn’t improve after a few days, it’s worth talking to a doctor. These are the conditions that could be present.
Vocal cord atrophy occurs naturally over time. The vocal cords thin out as you age. If you don’t talk much or talk a lot, it can impact the voice. Many seniors start to notice it when they sing a favorite song and find they can no longer hit high notes that were once easy.
If the voice goes suddenly after being noisy or yelling for a short period of time, see a doctor. It can indicate a vocal cord hemorrhage. This means a blood vessel has ruptured and is filling the vocal cords with blood. If this happens, it’s important to see a specialist and follow all recommendations until it’s completely healed.
Laryngitis is a common reason for the voice to change. It can be caused by a viral infection, such as a cold. If your parent has laryngitis, talking is not recommended. It can damage the vocal cords.
Changes to the brain can cause the voice to change. When someone has Parkinson’s disease, the voice may become shakier or hoarse. The effects of a stroke can also impact speech. In both cases, medical treatment and therapies can help preserve the voice.
Non-Cancerous or Cancerous Growths
Cysts, lesions, and polyps on the vocal cords can also make the voice change. They may form after talking too loud or too much for an extended period of time. The cysts, lesions, and polyps may indicate cancer. If the voice changes and doesn’t improve after four weeks, see a doctor. It’s best to get a professional diagnosis and rule out the possibility that cancer or pre-cancerous growths are present.
Regular smokers impact their vocal cords. The smoke can cause the vocal cords to swell and lead to hoarseness. Smokers are also more likely to develop throat cancer. Stopping smoking is important for voice, heart, and lung health.
Your parent may not notice changes to the voice. If your parent lives alone and is isolated, companionship services from an elder care aide are crucial. Call an elder care agency to set up care services.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care in Madison, FL, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today at 850-386-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida.
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