Vocal Fold Bowing or Presbyphonia

What is it?
Vocal fold bowing is a condition that occurs in patients of advanced age.  The combination of a thinned vocal fold cover and a decrease in underlying muscle bulk lead to incomplete closure of the vocal folds.  Patients typically have a weak and breathy voice, which translates into difficulty being heard in background noise.

How is it treated?
Vocal fold bowing is often treated initially with voice therapy to target strengthening the voice.  Patient who continue to have problematic voices despite therapy may be candidates for office-based vocal fold repositioning or with a permanent implant to help improve the ability of the vocal folds to fully close, thus strengthening the voice.