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Puberphonia (also known as mutational falsetto) is the habitual use of high-pitched voice beyond puberty.
Typically, adolescent males undergo voice changes to a much lower pitch due to a sudden increase in the length and thickness of the vocal folds. Often this size change is noticed as the sudden enlargement of the larynx (aka "Adam's Apple" when viewed as a protrusion at the anterior of the neck). This is uncommon in females because their vocal folds do not show a sudden increase in size.
Puberphonia is the functional, habitual use of high-pitched voice post puberty after the vocal folds have reached typical adult size. This condition is seen in males more often than in women. Puberphonia is also more noticeable in men than women because men are expected to speak much lower than women, and less noticeable in women because women typically speak much higher than men.
- Emotional stress
- Delayed development of secondary sexual characteristics
- Skipped fusion of thyroid laminae
- Voice therapy
This condition is best treated by voice therapy (vocal exercises) by speech-language pathologists (SLPs) /speech therapists having experiences in treating voice disorders because puberphonia is not a very common problem. The duration of treatment can usually be one to two weeks.
- Speech range masking
- Glottal attack before a vowel
- Relaxation techniques to relax the laryngeal musculature
- Visi pitch
- Lowering of larynx to appropriate position
- Humming while sliding down the scale
- Half swallow Boom technique
- Larynx manipulation
The incidence of puberphonia in India is estimated to be about 1 in 900,000 population.
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