Lupus Warriors know that lupus symptoms can show up all throughout the body, from head to toe. Recent research suggests another potential lupus sign: voice loss.
At an overview level, let’s start by exploring how the speaking voice is produced. There are 3 main functions necessary to create the voice (as described by the American Academy of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery):
- The Power Source — The Lungs
- Vocal power comes from exhaled air. When exhaling, there is an airstream created in the windpipe (trachea) which powers vocal cord vibration.
- The Vibrator — The Voice Box
- The voice box (larynx) is found at the top of the windpipe and contains the vocal cords. Vocal cords are folds that open and close when breathing, eating, etc.
- When speaking, the folds come together and vibrate as the air passes through them.
- They vibrate between 100 and 1,000 times per second — this speed variation adjusts the pitch that is created, and is controlled by muscles in the larynx.
- The Resonator — The Throat, Nose, Mouth, & Sinuses
- The resonator elements of the vocal production system turn the buzzing created by the vocal folds vibrations into the sounds that we recognize as language.