What are the effects of acute vocal exertion on individuals with frequent vocal fatigue, and are semi-occluded vocal tract exercises (SOVTEs) more effective than vocal rest in mitigating acute effects?
Explore This IssueDecember 2021
Vocal exertion impacts laryngeal, respiratory, and self-perceptual measures in individuals with vocal fatigue, and both SOVTE and vocal rest partially mitigate changes in voice measures.
BACKGROUND: Vocal exertion can result in chronic vocal fatigue, putting individuals at risk for voice disorders. Vocal rest is used to mitigate the effects of vocal exertion by promoting healing, but it may be impractical. Emerging evidence suggests that SOVTEs may better mitigate vocal fatigue effects than vocal rest.
STUDY DESIGN: Prospective, repeated measures design.
SETTING: Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.
SYNOPSIS: Researchers sought to investigate the effects of a 10-minute vocal exertion task on individuals reporting vocal fatigue, compare the restorative effects of SOVTE and vocal rest, and determine whether these protocols would have a protective effect following a second vocal exertion. They recruited 10 young adults who scored in the vocal fatigue range on the Vocal Fatigue Index. Participants completed two 10-minute vocal exertion tasks in which loud, sustained vowels were held for maximum phonation time. The tasks, completed on consecutive days, were separated by SOVTE or vocal rest. Laryngeal and respiratory measures were collected at baseline, after first exertion, after SOVTE/vocal rest, and after second exertion. Findings showed that acute vocal exertion worsened phonation threshold pressure (PTP), maximum frequency range (F0), and vocal effort, and resulted in lower lung volume termination (LVT) in individuals reporting frequent vocal fatigue. Both SOVTE and vocal rest strategies returned vocal effort to baseline and increased LVT above baseline, while PTP and F0 returned toward, but did not reach, baseline. Both strategies had a protective effect on LVT in the second exertion task. No significant differences in the effects of SOVTEs and vocal rest were observed.
CITATION: Fujiki RB, Huber JE, Sivasankar MP. Mitigating the effects of acute vocal exertion in individuals with vocal fatigue. Laryngoscope. 2021;131:2732-2739.