Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2003 , Vol 6, Issue 2
Kandoğan TOLGA
S.S.K. İzmir Eğitim Hastanesi K.B.B. Kliniği, İzmir In our century, the elderly people group is the fastest growing age group of the population. There are a lot of referrals with dysphonia in this age group. Since there are a lot of dieseases, including malignancies, that may affect larynx in this age group, it is crucial to make a differential diagnosis between voice changes due to normal aging process from diseases affecting the larynx. Presbylarynges is one of the common benign causes of dysphonia in the elderly. Review of age related changes in the human body reveals changes in the hormonal, circulatory, skeletal and neuromuscular systems. There is a decrease in sex and thyroid hormones, a decrease in cardiac output with increased atherosclerosis affecting the cardiovascular system, a loss of bone and muscle mass affecting the musculoskeletal system. Age related anatomic and physiologic changes of the vocal tract is frequently unrecognized or underestimated. Knowledge of the anatomical and physiological changes of the larynx during the aging process is crucial. Incomplete closure in the middle 1/3 of the vocal cords is the most common benign laryngeal manifestation in the elderly. The use of a Videostroboscopy allow the physician to make an accurate diagnosis of age related dysphonia. By understanding these age related changes, the dysphonia in the elderly can be best evaluated and treated if needed. In this literature review, we went through the anatomical and physiological changes in the vocal tract during the aging process and explained the possible causes of physiological dysphonia. Keywords : Presbylarynges, aging, voice, dysphonia, larynx