Age-related change of voice: Geriatric voice Osamu Shiromoto 1 1Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Faculty of Health and Welfare, Prefectural University of Hiroshima Keyword: 老化 , 加齢 , 加齢性声帯萎縮 , 老人性音声障害 , senescence , aging , aged vocal fold atrophy , presbyphonia pp.333-342
Published Date 2019/12/15
DOI https://doi.org/10.11477/mf.6001200248
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 “Senescence” and “aging” are frequently confused. “Aging” usually means the physical time course from birth to death. On the other hand, “senescence” progresses during “aging”. In other words, “senescence” refers to the decrease in biological functions and resistance to diseases with “aging”. The speech organs also undergo physiological changes due to aging. For example, in the respiratory system which serves as a voice activator, weakness in the respiratory muscles and stiffening of the thorax reduce the movement of the rib cage, vocal intensity, and duration of phonation. In the larynx, the voice generator, insufficiency of the glottal closure occurs due to changes in the laryngeal cartilage and the vocal cord mucosa (vocal fold atrophy), resulting in hoarseness. Changes in the external laryngeal muscles lower the laryngeal position. The vocal tract changes the form and function as a resonance cavity due to atrophy of the pharyngeal muscles and tongue as well as enlargement of the nasal cavity, resulting in a lowering of formant frequency and a delay in articulation. In this paper, the author explains in detail the physiological aging of the speech organs and the pathological features of the larynx called presbyphonia including vocal cord atrophy, which is common in the elderly. In addition, a theoretical model of how speech-language hearing therapists can deal with presbyphonia is proposed.

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