Aging voice

Published: September, 2013

Q. As I get older, my voice sounds raspier. Is this normal? Is there anything I can do to reverse these changes?

A. Men's voices deepen in the teenage years, but a different kind of change can happen later in life. Doctors call that change presbyphonia, meaning "aging voice." Over time, the vocal cords become drier and have less ability to vibrate at high speeds, which provides the tone in your voice. In addition, air movement from the lungs may diminish because of changes in lung capacity or the shape of the spine. Both of these factors cause the older voice to have a breathier and weaker sound.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »