Worried About Your Voice Changing?
This tip is courtesy of Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging. Get more health information – start your free trial today!
If you have noticed a change in your voice – and you aren’t a boy going through puberty – it may simply be a natural part of aging. Both the volume and quality of the voice is affected as we grow older, often resulting in a pitch change or slight breathiness or hoarseness when speaking. This is due to normal changes in the vocal cords: in men, the cords tend to become thinner, smaller and vibrate faster, resulting in a higher pitch. In women, the vocal cords can thicken and vibrate less, resulting in a deeper voice. Cartilage tissue in the larynx also becomes stiffer and less flexible, frequently causing a weaker-sounding voice.
To help prevent or reduce the effect of aging on the voice, try using your voice more regularly – those with a trained singing or public speaking background often maintain stronger voices as they age. Also, don’t smoke: it accelerates the voice changes associated with aging.
If, on the other hand, you feel your voice changes are more than just normal aging or there is pain; consider an investigation. Low thyroid is a common cause of hoarse voice, so consider meeting with an integrative practitioner for a thorough thyroid blood check and examination.