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Singers Hit High Notes in Free Voice Screening at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary

(Part of World Voice Day, April 16, 2009)

NEW YORK, April 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A rich mix of rock 'n rollers, sopranos and musical theater singers in the New York area received a comprehensive voice check-up and a stroboscopic exam of their vocal cords in April at the second annual free Voice Screening for Professional Singers, sponsored by The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary and MusiCares, the charitable arm of the national Recording Academy.

"This is the second year in a row we have found fairly extensive voice problems among professional singers, and it is proof positive there is a large unmet need for vocal care among the thousands of professional singers who make New York an entertainment capital of the world," said Michael Pitman, MD, director of New York Eye and Ear's Voice & Swallowing Institute. "Vocal folds are a singer's instrument and livelihood, so getting a comprehensive voice exam is a smart way to ensure a singing career over the long term," he said.

Asked to hit high and low notes, each singer's vocal fold was simultaneously photographed and recorded during a thorough, half-hour assessment by one of three speech language pathologists. Then, each singer had a private consultation with Dr. Pitman who provided them with a personalized folder of voice care recommendations that included vivid, colorful images of their vocal folds which can be used as a base line reference for future exams. More than half of the 45 singers who came discovered they had vocal problems resulting from nodules and polyps on their vocal folds, atrophy, muscle tension dysphonia or acid reflux.

Included in each singer's take-home packet was a voice conservation tip sheet, which is applicable to singers of all stripes, including those who just sing for fun.

The tips:

  • don't smoke,
  • eliminate frequent throat clearing,
  • drink lots of water,
  • control vocal loudness,
  • avoid excessive amounts of talking and
  • give in to laryngitis (don't force your voice to override the hoarseness).

The screening is one of many events being held nationally in celebration of World Voice Day on April 16, 2009, sponsored by the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Foundation. KayPentax, a medical instrument company, also helped sponsor the New York screening

The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, founded in 1820 and the first specialty hospital in the United States, is a teaching affiliate of the New York Medical College and member of Continuum Health Partners. NYEEI handles approximately 224,500 outpatient visits and performs over 25,000 surgical procedures per year. It has one of the nation's most extensive eye, ear, nose and throat clinics.

SOURCE The New York Eye & Ear Infirmary
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