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J Voice. 1997 Sep;11(3):295-300.

The effect of relative humidity of inhaled air on acoustic parameters of voice in normal subjects.

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Institute of Phoniatrics, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.


The hypothesis that relative humidity (RH) of air exerts an effect on voice has been widely accepted. The aim of this study has been to assess whether this can be demonstrated. Eight healthy subjects inhaled during ten minutes three different air conditions: dry, standard room, and humidified air. After inhalation, the subjects produced repeatedly a sustained /a/ of controlled pitch and loudness, which was analyzed for perturbation and noise-to-harmonic parameters. Perturbation measures increased after inhalation of dry air. No significant differences existed between standard and humidified air. No significant difference in the noise-to-harmonic ratio was found among the three conditions. We conclude that the human voice is very sensitive to decreases in RH of inhaled air, because even after a short provocation with dry air, a significant increase in perturbation measures was found.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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