Why Do Voices Change with Age?

Posted in: Voice News  |  June 15, 2012 
Why Do Voices Change with Age?

The body changes as time goes on. The same holds true for the voice. Although the most dramatic vocal changes are typically heard in boys going through puberty, adults of both genders often sound different as the decades pass.

Why? In general, muscle mass decreases with age, and mucous membranes become drier. The larynx, or voice box, experiences similar symptoms. When changes hit the vocal cords and voice, doctors call the condition vocal cord atrophy, presbylaryngis or presbyphonia.

Signs of an aging voice include:

  • Changes in vocal pitch (higher for men and lower for women)
  • Lower vocal endurance
  • Vocal shakiness
  • A “thin” voice with lower projection and volume

If you have concerns about the sound of your voice, then there are a few potential remedies.

  • Voice therapy. A speech-language pathologist can help assess the state of your voice and propose exercises and vocal practices that can improve your sound.
  • Vocal fold injection. In this process, the vocal folds (another name for the vocal cords) are injected with collagen or fat to help add bulk and improve sound quality. It’s important to note that these injections are temporary and cannot reverse age-related damage entirely.

If you have questions about the changing sound of your voice, then a medical professional is your best source of advice. Call anytime to schedule an assessment – and we’ll help you feel and sound comfortable at any age.