Can a voice disorder be an occupational disease?
AbstractVoice disorders are all changes in the voice quality that can be detected by hearing. Some etiological factors that contribute to the development of voice disorders are related to occupation, working environment and working conditions. In modern societies one third of the labour force works in professions with vocal loading. In such professions, voice disorders influence work ability and quality of life. For an occupational disease, the exposure to harmful factors in the workplace is essential and causes the development of a disorder in a previously healthy individual. In some European countries, voice disorders in teachers, which do not improve after proper treatment are recognized as occupational diseases. In Slovenia, no organic or functional voice disorder is listed on the current list of occupational diseases. Prevention and cure of occupational voice disorders can contribute to better safety at the workplace and improve the workers’ health. Voice professionals must also know that they are responsible for their own health and that they must actively take care of it.
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