Lung Function Research Made the News

V-BAL research has been picked up by the press. Specifically, several media outlets have picked up on our discovery of a potential link between pulmonary function and the symptoms of voice fatigue unique to women. Our study proposes a common, simple, low-cost tool that could aid medical experts in detecting potential voice fatigue at an early stage, which would help teachers to better prevent and treat voice problems. It will be presented this week at the 171th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), being held in Salt Lake City.

The higher incidence of prolonged problems among women has been associated with a number of gender differences including physiological differences in the laryngeal system, differences in the endocrine system, and differences in pulmonary usage. . . . Our study is the first to connect voice fatigue problems with gender-based physiological differences in lung functions, pointing to respiratory function as a source of the gender inequality in voice problems.

The big lesson that I always take away from write-ups on my research is the importance of taking media’s write-ups of science with a grain of salt. While much of what was written about this study was great, there were also quite of few inaccuracies.

The picture used by the write-up in The Daily Mail, apparently the second biggest selling daily newspaper in the UK, is quite humorous. However, one of the lab members suggested that it could perhaps color the readers’ reading of the story–what do you think?

Voice injuries to teachers cost an estimated $2.5bn (£1.7bn) a year, potentially harming students' education
Credit: The Daily Mail

Look for the publication of this research in the next few months.

 

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