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Invited Commentary
July 2018

The Voice and the Larynx in Older Adults: What’s Normal, and Who Decides?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018;144(7):572-573. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2018.0412

Voice problems in older adults are common, with estimated prevalences of up to 30% across various samples and query methodologies.1 Age-related changes of laryngeal anatomy and physiology are thought to lead to both presbylaryngis and dysphonia,2 but many patients with findings of presbylaryngis are asymptomatic, and the incidence of presbylaryngis remains incompletely understood. A challenge in management of voice disorders in older adults is thus what to consider normal vs pathologic, particularly in the context of presbylaryngis.