Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Speaking with laryngitis? Don't whisper

The New York Times recently did some health fact-checking and looked at whether whispering is harmful to your voice, since people with laryngitis are often advised to avoid whispering, lest it further damage the vocal chords. 

A researcher (who happens to also be a professional baritone) used fiber-optic scopes to watch subjects' vocal chords as they whispered, and as they spoke normally  The study concluded that a majority of the speakers were, in fact, "squeezing their vocal cords together more tightly to produce the whisper, which is more traumatic." 

While this isn't true for all speakers, the study's lead researcher recommends that you use “the voice you would use if you wanted to talk to somebody next to you without having other people in the room hear," rather than whispering.

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