The Isle of Wight NHS Trust is celebrating all things to do with voice, as part of World Voice Day which takes place today (Friday).
World Voice Day has been celebrated since 1999 and on this day, voice care professionals and researchers such as Speech and Language therapists, Ear Nose and Throat specialists, and professional voice users across the world, gather together to shine a light on the phenomenon of the human voice.
Last year has brought dramatic changes to the way we live. One of these changes is the use of video platforms to communicate with our colleagues, clients, friends, and family. We have discovered that we can do so much via video meetings without even leaving our desks.
However, this can take its toll on our voices. Voice fatigue, hoarseness, throat discomfort, neck and back pain and increased mental stress are being reported frequently.
Video meetings can be challenging for a number of reasons: poor auditory and visual reception, the increased effort required to process elements of non-verbal communication, self-awareness of being watched, delays (lag), sitting for a long time in one position with the head held forward and a crouched back.
Talking for a long period of time in an uncomfortable position can make the muscles around the larynx (voice box) tense. Prolonged tension in those muscles can result in a lack of coordination of the vocal system. This can cause the voice to become croaky and weak, leading to a vocal injury.
This year the voice community at St. Mary’s Hospital is making World Voice Day special by drawing attention to the virtual voice and how to maintain a healthy voice online. The Trust is also delighted to share Sophie’s inspirational story.
Sophie is a teacher working and living in Newport. Her voice condition has not stopped her from teaching, and she has become an inspiring influence to those around her.
Watch Sophie share her story: