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HomeNewsArchivesWorld Voice Day Held April 16

World Voice Day Held April 16

April 15, 2008 – Virgin Islands Ear, Nose and Throat is joining hundreds of otolaryngology practices around the world in recognition of World Voice Day on April 16. The American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery has sponsored the U.S. participation in World Voice Day since the event was established in 2002. The 2008 theme, "Let Your Voice Be Heard," ties into the presidential election season and offers a catchy phrase that encourages people to remember that the human voice is a powerful symbol of the right to communicate opinions and beliefs. Regularly assessing vocal health and taking action to maintain good voice habits is essential.
The voice is a delicate instrument that requires preservation and protection in order to avoid disorders. The St. Thomas Voice Disorder Center, a specialty center within V.I. Ear, Nose and Throat is the local expert on voice care, specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of vocal problems. Dr. Adam M. Shapiro, a board certified otolaryngologist and head and neck surgeon, runs the disorder center and advocates these simple tips to maintain a clear and trouble free voice:
1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Warm up the voice before heavy and extended use.
3. Don't scream or shout, use a microphone when you must project your voice.
4. Take "voice naps" during the day when you simply do not speak.
5. Don't smoke.
6. Limit your cell phone use.
When and if a person notices a change in the sound or quality of his or her voice and/or experiences throat pain that persists for more than a couple of weeks, the disorder center encourages the person to come in for an evaluation. Common voice disorders like laryngitis (vocal cord swelling), vocal cord lesions (non-cancerous growths), vocal cord paralysis and acid reflux in the esophagus and the throat can be effectively treated so that the voice returns to its original quality. More serious diseases such as cancer of the throat and/or larynx (voice box) could be life threatening and may require surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy. According to Dr. Shapiro, "Smokers are at much greater risk for more serious voice disorders. A smoker who is experiencing persistent hoarseness and a sustained change in his or her voice should be evaluated immediately as these symptoms typically occur at an early stage in the development of cancer."
To learn even more about the "Let Your Voice Be Heard" campaign and the importance of caring for your voice, visit the ENT Web site at www.entvi.com.

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