The Effects of Mask Usage on Reported Vocal Health of Educators



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


      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.


      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).


      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.

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