Singers crowd AIIMS voice-loss clinic | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Singers crowd AIIMS voice-loss clinic

Of the 25 patients who come to the speech clinic at AIIMS every week, 50 per cent are professional voice users, reports Jaya Shroff.

delhi Updated: Mar 28, 2008 02:35 IST
Jaya Shroff

Bhojpuri singer Satyendra Kumar, 24, visits Delhi from a small town in Bihar for voice treatment every two months. Doctors say the long hours of riyaz are taking a toll on his vocal chords.

Of the 25 patients who come to the speech clinic at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) every week, 50 per cent are professional voice users. “Besides singers, there are television anchors, teachers, call-centre employees and radio jockeys,” says Dr KK Handa, associate professor, ENT department at AIIMS.

Thanks to the popularity of music talent hunts, aspiring singers like Satyendra, even child prodigies, are losing their voices. The pressure to perform and long hours of practice are the biggest causes. A young winner at a popular music talent hunt approached a city doctor for voice correction a couple of years ago. “The boy of seven was made to devote eight hours to riyaz a day. We had to counsel the parents before the child. Unrealistic ambitions and lack of knowledge were playing havoc with the child,” says Dr Handa.

Repeated abuse of voice often leads to development of nodules and polyps in vocal chords. If not treated in time, it could lead to permanent damage. According to a report published in the US-based Journal of Logopedics, Phoniatrics, and Vocology titled Review: Occupational risks for voice problems, a quarter of the workforce experiences daily voice problems.

Dr Ameet Kishore, senior consultant at Apollo Hospital, receives about five patients with voice problems a week. “We often have to guide patients about using their voice in the correct manner,” he says.