Phonatory Effects of Airway Dehydration: Preliminary Evidence for Impaired Compensation to Oral Breathing in Individuals With a History of Vocal Fatigue Purpose Airway drying is detrimental to phonation and is posited to exacerbate vocal fatigue. However, limited research has demonstrated the adverse phonatory effects of dehydration in speakers reporting vocal fatigue. We compared the negative phonatory consequences of short-term oral breathing at low, moderate, and high humidity in individuals reporting a ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2008
Phonatory Effects of Airway Dehydration: Preliminary Evidence for Impaired Compensation to Oral Breathing in Individuals With a History of Vocal Fatigue
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mahalakshmi Sivasankar
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Elizabeth Erickson
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Sara Schneider
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Ashleigh Hawes
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Contact author: Mahalakshmi Sivasankar, Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, 500 Oval Drive, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907. E-mail: msivasankar@purdue.edu.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2008
Phonatory Effects of Airway Dehydration: Preliminary Evidence for Impaired Compensation to Oral Breathing in Individuals With a History of Vocal Fatigue
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2008, Vol. 51, 1494-1506. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0181)
History: Received August 5, 2007 , Revised January 15, 2008 , Accepted March 29, 2008
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2008, Vol. 51, 1494-1506. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0181)
History: Received August 5, 2007; Revised January 15, 2008; Accepted March 29, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 34

Purpose Airway drying is detrimental to phonation and is posited to exacerbate vocal fatigue. However, limited research has demonstrated the adverse phonatory effects of dehydration in speakers reporting vocal fatigue. We compared the negative phonatory consequences of short-term oral breathing at low, moderate, and high humidity in individuals reporting a history of vocal fatigue and control participants.

Method Females reporting a history of vocal fatigue (N = 8) and matched controls (N = 8) participated in a repeated-measures design over 3 different days.

Results Oral breathing at low and moderate humidity increased phonation threshold pressure (PTP) to a greater extent in individuals reporting a history of vocal fatigue as compared to controls. Conversely, PTP did not increase in either participant group after oral breathing in a humid environment. Perceived phonatory effort (PPE) ratings were poorly correlated with PTP.

Conclusions The emergence of between-group differences in PTP at low and moderate but not high ambient humidity demonstrates that drying challenges might be detrimental to voice production in individuals with a history of vocal fatigue. Based on the phonatory effects of dehydration, we suggest that individuals reporting vocal fatigue may demonstrate impaired compensation to airway drying induced by short-term oral breathing.

Acknowledgments
We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of Bruce Craig and the Statistical Consulting Service at Purdue University to statistical analysis and Jessica Huber for collection of respiratory data. We also thank Aearo Technologies for providing yellow earplugs1  used for the measurement of nasal resistance. This work was supported in part by the Advancing Academic Research Careers (AARC) Award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and grants from the Marylou Hazleton Faculty Development Fund and the Indiana Lion’s Club.
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