Teachers make up 60% of all who suffer voice disorders

Around 60 percent of professionals who come to PGIMER complaining of voice disorders are government school teachers,followed by untrained Punjabi singers and politicians during the election time,said doctors of ENT department of PGIMER,on Wednesday.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: April 11, 2013 2:10 am

Around 60 percent of professionals who come to PGIMER complaining of voice disorders are government school teachers,followed by untrained Punjabi singers and politicians during the election time,said doctors of ENT department of PGIMER,on Wednesday.

The information on voice disorder was presented by doctors in the recognition of World Voice Day on April 16.

Patients with voice disorder complain of persistent vocal quality change,hoarseness or complete loss of voice,inability to raise their voice,persistent irritation or throat pain,pitch breaks and vocal fatigue.

“Around eight to ten patients are diagnosed with voice disorders here daily. Most of those who complain are aged 17 to 50,but the problem exists in children as well. Amongst professional voice users,60 percent are government teachers,untrained Punjabi singers and politicians,” ENT doctors said.

Changing lifestyle and polluted environment have been cited as the main reasons behind the increase in complainants. “Smoke,dust,gaseous elements in the air causes chronic coughing,which results in voice disorders. People should also check intake of oily or spicy food,caffeine and tobacco,” said Dr Naresh Panda,professor and head of the department of Otolaryngology.

People can also avoid voice disorders by being adequately hydrated and minimise activities causing vocal strain such as yelling.

“A healthy person should not speak consistently for more than two hours and should take a 10 to 15 minute break in between. Teachers should use dust-free chalks and can use mikes,children should be stopped from screaming and yelling,” said Dr N Banumathy,Speech and Hearing Unit,department of ENT,PGIMER.

Further,males depressed with their high-pitched voice can utilise voice therapy. “The persistence of high-pitched voice even after puberty amongst males is called puberphonia. The problem is mainly psychological. Voice therapy treatment is very promising and a low-pitch voice can be attained within a few weeks,” said Dr Banumathy.

Most voice disorders are preventible but some cases require surgical intervention.

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