World Voice Day celebrated in Hawai'i for the first time on April 16University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Mar 22, 2013
Aaron Ziegler performs an examination in the JABSOM CSD Clinic at the Gold Bond Building.
Most of us become hoarse or experience losing our voice during severe colds, which are common this time of year. But think for a moment how devastating it could be to lose your voice for good.
“Many people never think about the importance of vocal health unless they or someone close to them has experienced a significant voice disorder, yet the voice is vital in communicating at school, work and in everyday social settings,” said Aaron Ziegler, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) at the UH Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM).
“The long-term consequences of poor voice care can range from damaged vocal cords and chronic hoarseness to deadly head and neck cancers,” said Ziegler, a speech-language pathologist and singing voice specialist whose clinical interests are in voice and swallowing disorders. Voice-related health problems are believed to result in annual health care costs of $2.5 billion.
Some people damage their voice by smoking, shouting, drinking too much alcohol, or through poor speaking technique. When problems occur, if treatment is ignored, more significant problems can develop, Ziegler explained. If problems persist longer than three weeks, or recur more than three times a year, you should have your voice checked by a professional.
On Tuesday, April 16, 2013, gatherings will be held around the world to raise awareness about the importance of your voice and how to protect it. For the first time ever, World Voice Day will include a celebration in Hawai`i. “Hoʻohui ana i nā leo nahenahe: A Hawaiian World Voice Day Celebration” will be held at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa Campus Center and the Orvis Auditorium. All of the events are free.
Afternoon: UH Mānoa Campus Center
1:00 -3:00 p.m. Free voice screenings and vocal health fair
Evening: Orvis Auditorium-UH Mānoa
7:00 p.m -. Blessing
7:15 .-7:30 p.m. - UH music and theater student performances
7:30 p.m. - Hawai`i will participate in a global World Voice Day concert, hosted by prominent voice scientist in Sweden, Dr. Johan Sundberg.
8:00 p.m. -9:00 p.m. - Keynote address by Katherine Verdolini Abbott, PhD, University of Pittsburgh (Title: Science & theology; religion & health)
The American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) is also promoting the international health observance day for the human voice, by asking members of the public to assess their voice quality and recognize that harmful speaking techniques, use of tobacco and alcohol, and diet and other lifestyle choices can easily and irrevocably damage the voice.
World Voice Day gives vocal health experts an opportunity to bring renewed awareness about vocal health to the general public and to professionals who have built careers around their voices. The AAO-HNS offers a few simple vocal health tips:
• Never smoke.
• Keep yourself well hydrated. Water is the best.
• Reflux can damage your vocal cords - consider what you eat.
• Don't scream or shout. Use a microphone if you need to project your voice.
• Rest your voice if you have laryngitis.
• Get evaluated by an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat physician) if you have persistent hoarseness for more than three weeks.
Launched in Brazil in 1999, World Voice Day has grown to involve countries around the globe, with resources to help the news media cover issues about the care, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders involving the ears, nose, throat, and related head and neck structures.
For more information, visit: http://manoa.hawaii.edu/csd/uhsh/