reneesweet (reneesweet) wrote in little_details,

Effect of 8 years of silence on vocal cords

Hi! First time poster. What a cool place.

I'm trying to find out what would happen to someone's voice if they didn't speak for 8 years. No whispering, no speaking, nada. Other everyday activities that use the mouth and throat would have been engaged in normally (e.g., chewing, swallowing, facial expressions). Just no actual vocalizations of any type, including laughing.

When the person did start speaking again, would they have trouble producing sound? Would it hurt? Would their voice sound normal or be very hoarse?

I have done several Google searches, using search criteria like "can silence damage vocal cords" and "can you damage your vocal cords by not speaking." The vast majority of the results were recommendations to *not* speak as a way to *repair* vocal cord damage. There was also one answer to a question posed on Yahoo by a woman who said she is a nurse, who said that there would be no damage. However, I am looking for some validation to that and also for more specific answers to my questions above re: raspiness, discomfort, etc.

Thanks so much in advance!

ETA: Setting is post-apocalyptic future version of our world with limited tech and essentially no health care (hospitals, etc.).
Tags: ~medicine: human physiology, ~mute/unable to talk

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