School Teachers are the Highest-Risk Occupation for Voice Disorders

Studies have demonstrated that, of all professions, school teachers place the most strain on their voice resulting in the highest number of voice related disorders. School teachers tend to speak loudly for long periods of time without adequate rest. Along with lack of rest, they are also more at risk for respiratory illnesses due to exposure to infections, mold, dust, and other environmental pollutants.  11 percent of teachers report current voice disorders and 58 percent have reported a history of a voice disorder. These disorders are the cause of teacher absences and/or inability to perform all necessary daily activities. Vocal hygiene exercises, including sufficient water intake, use of amplification systems, and resting, are a good start in preserving the voice. Although, sometimes more intense recovery methods must be employed including both behavioral changes (using the voice and respiratory system together more efficiently) as well as  continual voice education and monitoring. (The ASHA Leader, March 2013, p.37-40).

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