NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Not everyone has a voice that lasts through the decades. For many people, the way they sound can give away their age.
“If I gave you a sample of a voice from a 13-year-old, a 25-year-old, and an 80-year-old, you could immediately pick up who the 80-year-old was,” Dr. Milan Amin said.
Indeed, as we age, like everything else, so do our voices, CBS2’s Kristine Johnson reported.
“Weakness in the voice; rattliness, lack of range,” Dr. Amin explained.
Depending on genetics it can be worse for some than it is for others, Dr. Amin, with NYU Langone Medical Center, explained.
“We do have some patients who come in and say, ‘I just sound like I’m 100-years-old because of my voice,'” Dr. Amin said.
Vocal chords are made of muscles, collagen, and fat, just like the features in the face, and they too can weaken over time, resulting in a gap between the two cords.
“Just like the skin tends to sag and get thinner over time the vocal cords tend to do the same,” Dr. Amin said.
When that happens less sound is created and that leads to a hoarse, raspy, and old voice.
To combat this problem people are having ‘voice augmentation’ or a ‘voice lift.’ It can help a voice go from raspy to rejuvenated.
“It’s a simple concept. What we do is take those vocal cords that are thinner and not meeting and basically push them closer together,” Dr. Amin said.
They are pushed together with fillers that help plump them up. They’re the same fillers that help erase wrinkles.
“Restylene, juvaderm, and there’s a specific gel that was designed for the vocal cords,” Dr. Amin said.
Marc Kabat, 68, credits a voice lift with restoring his voice.
“Some people my age could care less about their voice. I’m not retiring. I want my voice,” he said.
Kabat owns his own travel agency and spends as many as 9 hours a day speaking with clients.
“I was too embarrassed to go on the phone because it wasn’t me,” he said.
In less than 15 minutes, and a few injections of restylene, he’s back in business.
Voice augmentation injections last anywhere from three to nine months. Permanent vocal cord implants are another option.