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World Voice Day: Make Your Voice Count

World Voice Day is April 16, a day when organizations around the world join together to encourage good voice habits. The theme for World Voice Day 2012, "Your Voice Counts," reminds us that our voice is essential for our daily activities—at home, at work, and even when we’re relaxing with friends and family. The American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) has sponsored the U.S. observance of the day 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.

Hoarseness

Hoarseness is often a side effect of using your voice too much or too loudly, but it can also be an indicator that something more serious is happening with the tissues and structures that make up the larynx or the muscles that control them. Read or download the fact sheet here or call the NIDCD Information Clearinghouse at (800) 241-1044 or (800) 241-1055 (TTY) for a free copy.

Vocal Fold Paralysis

Vocal fold paralysis occurs when one or both of the vocal folds don’t open or close properly. You can read or print out a fact sheet here that tells you more about the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of vocal fold paralysis or call the NIDCD Information Clearinghouse at (800)241-1044 or (800) 241-1055 (TTY) for a free copy.

Smartphone App Advances Diagnosis of Voice Disorders

Read about an NIDCD-supported scientist who has developed a system that uses a smartphone app and a miniature recording device to keep track of how people use their voices for a full week’s worth of talking. You can find out about the device—so small that rocker Steven Tyler once wore it during a concert—and how it could advance the accuracy of voice disorder diagnosis here.  

The Vocal Vulnerabilities of Teachers

Read a Q & A here with Kittie Verdolini Abbot, Ph.D., a professor of communication science and disorders in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Services at the University of Pittsburgh, about the special challenges teachers face when it comes to protecting their voices from the daily wear and tear of their profession.

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