Being a child means curiosity, being happy with what they have learned and experienced, living carelessly without thinking about the future - without being offended by the past, just being satisfied with that moment. But this beauty does not last long... Every day, every healthy child reaches adulthood by experiencing the growth and development according to his/her age. But firstly with the effect of hormones; the child should pass adolescence which is a transition between childhood and adulthood, where thoughts, feelings, habits and body change.
Although the onset of the adolescence varies from person to person, the general acceptance is that girls enter the adolescence at the age of 10 and boys at the age of 12. Some psychological and physiological changes that are necessary for growing up are observed in children who enter the adolescence.
The changes experienced in many organs and tissues in the body also appear in the vocal cords of the larynx which is more common in men, and the loudness (pitch) and quality of the voice change. Especially in men, the vocal cords take on a longer and thicker structure and cause the voice to deepen. This process continues till approximately the age of 18. The first stage of voice change is the pre-mutation phase. Then, mutation and post-mutation stages are experienced.
The fact that although the post-mutation phase, which is the third and final phase of voice change, is completed and there is no organic cause affecting the pitch, a male individual has a high-pitched and thin voice (falsetto) is called as Mutational Falsetto or Puberphonia. If it is not treated, it can continue for many years in adulthood. Puberphonia is not a physical impairment, but a habitual problem that occurs as a result of the inability to keep up with the rapidly developing vocal cords, and misuse of the voice in a high pitch. It rarely appears in women.
Typical characteristics of puberphonia are pitch breaks, single-pitched speech and pitch at an abnormal level. In addition, complaints such as hoarseness, shortness of breath, vocal fatigue, and double-voiced speech are also reported.
An anatomical damage or disorder is generally not found in physical examinations performed on patients with puberphonia. It has been determined that mostly, not the whole vocal cords, but only the thin front part vibrates, therefore frequency of the voice decreases and causes voice to be thin. The most frequently mentioned complaints by the patients are as follows: being mocked by their peers, not being taken seriously, being exposed to bad jokes and being perceived as women in phone calls.
The vocal characteristics and vocal cords of people who show signs of puberphonia and/or have different complaints are examined by an otolaryngologist and it is diagnosed. The GRBAS Scale (Grade, Roughness, Breathiness, Asthenia, and Strain) is a frequently used measurement tool in diagnosis, in which airway patency is subjectively examined in diagnosis. Likewise, the Multi-Dimensional Voice Program (MDVP) and Speech Range Profile (SRP) are also widely used, which perform acoustic analysis and can numerically evaluate voice parameters such as fundamental frequency, noise, and tremor.
Although there is no comprehensive and systematic study on the cause of puberphonia, it is considered to be caused by many physical, psychological and mental factors;
Delayed sexual maturity,
Hypogonadism, known as male hormone (androgen) and female hormone (estrogen) deficiency,
Hearing problems, neurological and hormonal problems,
Impulse to resist rapid changes that occur in the body after the onset of puberty,
Dislike for deep voice tone, desire to continue childhood voice,
Feeling of aging, desire to stay young and emotional stress
Embarrassment due to rapid change that has occurred,
For men, spending time with women constantly are main causes.
Puberphonia is the easiest to treat voice disorder and absolute recovery is provided after treatment. In cases there is no another anatomical problem in the vocal cords or their surroundings, it can be treated with a voice therapy that usually consists of a single session of 30 to 40 minutes.
Purpose of the voice therapy is to find correct position of the larynx muscles and stabilize the habit of using pitch correctly with the Biofeedback method. With the Biofeedback method, person sees his/her own voice waves reflected on the screen, hears the recorded thin and deep voice, understands that the problem is not caused by physiological reasons and finds the correct pitch by adjusting his/her voice according to the waves he/she sees. Then, by using images, voice range expansion exercises are done and the use of voice in the appropriate pitch is fixed.
Since puberphonia is a problem that causes psychological problems rather than physical impairment for individuals, it is also recommended to get psychological help simultaneously with voice therapy.
In cases of puberphonia seen with vocal cord problems voice deepening surgeries can be performed.
If you still have thin voice problem although adolescence period ends, you can reach us via our contact information and get more information and receive treatment in our health center that uses state-of-the-art technology tools and equipment for diagnosis and treatment of vocal cord disorders and priorities your special demands and needs.