Advertisement

The Effects of Mask Usage on Reported Vocal Health of Educators

      Abstract

      Objective

      To investigate the self-reported effects of mask usage on vocal fatigue and number of vocal complaints of high school and college educators.

      Method

      Forty teachers at high schools and universities who reported using masks to teach in person during the Spring 2020 to Fall 2020 semesters completed an anonymous survey regarding self-report of teaching history, vocal use, vocal complaints, and vocal health. Responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics and t tests.

      Results

      Survey participants reported an increase in all forms of vocal complaints investigated despite an increase in amplification use. Participants also reported a decrease in daily water consumption between eight and 16 ounces of water when wearing a mask in the classroom compared to teaching prior to coronavirus disease 2019. Participants also reported a significant increase in vocal effort while teaching in a mask (P < 0.001).

      Conclusion

      Educators reported a significant effect of increased vocal complaints and decreased water intake while wearing masks. The decrease in water consumption and increase in vocal effort may lead to more frequent vocal complaints in teachers at the high school and college level.

      Key Words

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Journal of Voice
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      REFERENCES

        • Carbon CC
        Wearing face masks strongly confuses counterparts in reading emotions.
        Front Psychol. 2020; 11: 2526https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.566886
        • Magee M
        • Lewis C
        • Nofs G
        • et al.
        Effects of face masks on acoustic analysis and speech perception: Implications for peri-pandemic protocols.
        J Acous Soc Am. 2020; 148: 3562-3568https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0002873
        • Corey RM
        • Jones U
        • Singer AC
        Acoustic effects of medical, cloth and transparent face masks on speech signals.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 2020; 148: 2371https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0002279
        • Muzzi E
        • Chermaz C
        • Castro V
        • et al.
        Short report on the effects of SARS-CoV-2 face protective equipment on verbal communication.
        Eur Archives of Otorhinolaryngol. 2021; 278: 3565-3570https://doi.org/10.1007/s00405-020-06535-1
        • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
        Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey.
        2021 (Available at:) (Accessed October 26, 2021)
        • Roy N
        • Merril RM
        • Thibeault S
        • et al.
        Prevalence of voice disorders in teachers and the general population.
        J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2004; 47: 281-293https://doi.org/10.1044/1092-4388(2004/023
        • Chodosh J
        • Weinstein B
        • Blustein J
        Face masks can be devastating for people with hearing loss.
        BMJ. 2020; : 370https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m2683
      1. Tucci D Cloth face coverings and distancing pose communication challenges for many. National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Available at: https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/about/nidcd-director-message/cloth-face-coverings-and-distancing-pose-communication-challenges-many, 2021 Accessed February 5, 2022.

        • Ribeiro VV
        • Dassie-Leite AP
        • Pereira EC
        • et al.
        Effect of wearing a face mask on vocal self-perception during a pandemic.
        J Voice. 2020; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2020.09.006
        • Shekariah S
        • Suresh K
        Effect of face mask on voice production during COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review.
        J Voice. 2021; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2021.09.027
      2. Gantner S, Deitmerg U, Schuster M Vocal tract discomfort in caregivers for the elderly during an interval of the COVID-19 pandemic. Logoped Phoniatr Vocol. 2021: 1-8. doi:10.1080/14015439.2021.1915376

      3. Ortiz K, Quinn C, Radhakrishnan N Acoustic and auditory effects of COVID-19 mask (N95) on speech/voice communication. Poster Presentation, Care of the Professional Voice Symposium, 2021.

        • Porschmann C
        • Lubeck T
        • Arend J
        Impact of face masks on voice radiation.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 2020; 148: 3663https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0002853
        • Nguyen DD
        • McCabe P
        • Thomas D
        • et al.
        Acoustic voice characteristics with and without wearing a facemask.
        Sci Rep. 2021; 11: 5651https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-85130-8
        • Gama R
        • Castro ME
        • van Lith-Bijl JT
        • et al.
        Does the wearing of masks change voice and speech parameters?.
        Eur Archives of Otorhinolaryngol. 2021; https://doi.org/10.1007/s00405-021-07086-9
        • Gotaas C
        • Starr CD
        Vocal fatigue among teachers.
        Folia Phoniatr. Logop. 1993; 45: 120-129https://doi.org/10.1159/000266237
        • Laukannen AM
        • Ilomaki I
        • Leppanen K
        • et al.
        Acoustic measures and self-reports of vocal fatigue by female teachers.
        J Voice. 2008; 22: 283-289https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2006.10.001
        • Martellotta F
        • D'alba M
        • Della Crociata S
        Laboratory measurement of sound absorption of occupied pews and standing audiences.
        Appl Acoust. 2011; 72: 341-349https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apacoust.2010.12.008
        • Verdolini-Martson K
        • Snadage M
        • Titze I
        Effect of hydration treatments on laryngeal nodules and oplps and related voice measures.
        J Voice. 1994; 8: 30-47https://doi.org/10.1016/S0892-1997(05)80317-0
        • Leydon C
        • Wroblewski M
        • Eichorn N
        • et al.
        A meta-analysis of outcomes of hydration intervention on phonation threshold pressure.
        J Voice. 2010; 24: 637-643https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2009.06.001
        • Sapienza C
        • Crandell CC
        • Curtis B
        Effects of sound-field frequency modulation amplification on reducing teachers’ sound pressure level in the classroom.
        J Voice. 1999; 13: 375-381https://doi.org/10.1016/S0892-1997(99)80042-3
        • Roy N
        • Weinrich B
        • Gray S
        • et al.
        Three treatments for teachers with voice disorders.
        J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2003; 46: 670-688https://doi.org/10.1044/1092-4388(2003/053
        • da Rocha LM
        • de Lima Bach S
        • do Amaral PL
        • et al.
        Risk factors for the incidence of perceived voice disorders in elementary and middle school teachers.
        J Voice. 2017; 31 (e7): 258https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2016.05.018