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World Voice Day: We Share a Voice

April 16 is World Voice Day, a day when organizations around the world promote awareness about the importance of taking care of your voice. This year’s theme, We Share a Voice, “reminds people of the value and significance of vocal health in everyday life,” according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS), sponsor of the U.S. observance since 2002. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) joins these efforts with recently updated publications and other educational materials available to patients, their families, and health professionals.

What You Need to Know About Cancer of the Larynx

This patient education booklet, developed by the National Cancer Institute in collaboration with the NIDCD, describes the health effects of laryngeal cancer and its treatment, and provides tips for managing problems patients may have with speaking and swallowing. The booklet is available online or you can request a print copy by calling (800) 4-CANCER or (800) 422-6237.

Spasmodic Dysphonia

This fact sheet describes spasmodic dysphonia, a neurological disorder in which muscles inside the vocal folds experience sudden involuntary movements—called spasms—that interfere with the ability of the folds to vibrate and produce voice. Read or download the fact sheet online or call the NIDCD Clearinghouse at (800) 241-1044 or (800) 241-1055 (TTY).

Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP)

This fact sheet describes RRP, a disease in which tumors grow in the air passages leading from the nose and mouth into the lungs and whose presence in the larynx can interfere with the normal vibrations of the vocal folds, causing hoarseness. Read or download the fact sheet online or call the NIDCD Clearinghouse at (800) 241-1044 or (800) 241-1055 (TTY).

Video: Q and A with Lana Shekim, Ph.D.

Learn more about your voice by watching a 5-minute videotaped conversation with NIDCD program director Dr. Lana Shekim, who discusses how the voice becomes damaged, what careers may make you more prone to voice problems, things you can do to protect your voice, and more.

Read more NIDCD fact sheets on voice, speech, and language disorders, and learn how you can protect your voice.

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