Aphonia - The Complete Loss of Speech

Article published on 22nd May 2008

Aphonia is when the vocal chords cannot meet together to vibrate when air from the lungs passes between them, meaning that no sounds can be produced and thus no words.

Complete speech loss is a profoundly affecting condition upon the person suffering from it. If someone has been used to communicating verbally throughout his or her life, the sudden loss of this ability can be distressing and deeply frustrating for the person in question as well as family members and friends. It can also affect our ability to work and our employability.

Aphonia is not necessarily a permanent condition and anything from the severity of damage to the vocal chords to time of day (morning or evening) can be factors in whether the sufferer can speak or not. Some cases of aphonia appear to be sporadically occurring, where the condition comes and goes with no apparent rhyme or reason.

It is not impossible to work with aphonia, but the work environment may have to be changed depending upon how important verbal communicated is to the job.

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