Three Out of 10 People Over the Age of 65 Have Serious Problems With Their Vocal Cords
When I arrive at a family reunion, relatives crank up their hearing aids. During a recent stint working in a jewellery shop, I would greet customers, then wonder if they were ignoring me or simply couldn’t hear what I was saying. These encounters worry me—I have memories of trying to converse with my mother as her own voice grew quieter and quieter. Phone calls became torturous, then impossible.
While hearing and vision issues are prominent in many discussions of aging, we rarely explore how growing older affects our vocal cords. After 65, about three in 10 people have difficulties serious enough to be diagnosed as a voice disorder. Problems can start earlier in those with ailments such as gastrointestinal reflux disease, or who have jobs that require speaking loudly. Fortunately, there are strategies that can help you retain—or regain—the ability to make yourself heard.