Dysphonia in the aging: physiology versus disease

Laryngoscope. 1992 Feb;102(2):139-44. doi: 10.1288/00005537-199202000-00007.


A chart review from 151 dysphonic patients over the age of 60 was done to define aging related voice disorders. Overwhelmingly, patients suffered from dysphonia due to disease processes associated with aging rather than to physiologic aging alone. These include: 1. central neurological disorders affecting laryngeal function (e.g., stroke, Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, Alzheimer's disease); 2. benign vocal fold lesions (e.g., Reinke's edema, benign and dysplastic epithelial lesions); 3. inflammatory disorders (e.g., laryngitis sicca, medication effect); 4. laryngeal neoplasia; and 5. laryngeal paralysis. Typical laryngeal findings of vocal fold bowing and breathiness consistent with presbylarynges were present in only six patients. Presbylarynges is not a common disorder and should be a diagnosis of exclusion made only after careful medical and speech evaluation.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Voice / physiology*
  • Voice Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Voice Disorders / etiology