Puberphonia is also called “functional falsetto.” Normally during puberty, the male voice lowers by approximately one octave, while the female voice lowers by one to three semitones. However, if this natural change does not take place, the person has functional falsetto. This condition occurs more frequently in males.

Symptoms of Puberphonia

Someone with puberphonia may have these vocal characteristics:

  • High pitch
  • Breathiness
  • Low intensity
  • Neck and throat tension
  • Breaks in phonation and frequency

Treatments for Puberphonia

The treatment of choice for puberphonia is voice therapy with a trained speech-language pathologist. Goals are based on each patient's individual needs. Your speech-language pathologist will give you the tools to master change in vocal pitch, inflection or prosody, resonance, rate, articulation, language, and non-verbal communication. Training sessions will focus on using these tools in a healthy, sustainable manner. The number of sessions can vary based on your individual needs.

Why Choose Columbia

The Columbia University Center for Voice and Swallowing offers voice and communication training with our team of highly skilled specialists. All new clients begin with an initial evaluation with our multidisciplinary team, which includes an examination of your overall vocal health and a discussion about your personal communication goals. For some, mild underlying vocal differences (raspiness, strain, fatigue) can be addressed as part of the training process. Others may seek support, training, or information when managing the effects of hormone replacement therapy on their voice.