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Stress Velopharyngeal Incompetence in an Adolescent Trumpet Player


Copyright 2024, Mark Alan Wade

Primary Author: Beecher, R.
Journal Title: Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology
Date Published: 1995
Language: English
Category: Orofacial Disorders
Key Words: stress throat trumpet amateur musician instrument
Full Citation: Beecher, Robert B., Stephen F. Conley, and Susan Marks. Stress Velopharyngeal Incompetence in an Adolescent Trumpet Player. Annals of Otology, Rhinology, and Laryngology 104 (1995): 715-17.
Full Abstract: Stress velopharyngeal incompetence (VPI) is defined as impaired function of the velopharyngeal mechanism that occurs only under high intraoral pressures as encountered when playing wind instruments. Intraoral pressures when playing wind instruments can be 125mm Hg greater than normal speech pressures. A seventeen year old boy had an onset of VPI following a band camp in which he played 8-10 hours a day. Although this is the youngest patient recorded with this unusual condition, his manifestation is consistent with those of trumpet players cited in similar studies. Symptoms of VPI include nasal regurgitation of fluids, hypernasality with speech, and nasal air escape during wind instrument playing. Surgery is only recommended for a professional musician with this condition. This patient was counseled to cease playing trumpet entirely for one month. At the end of the month, the patient had substantial velopharyngeal competence for speech, but inadequate closure while playing trumpet. After one year, the patient could play the trumpet for thirty minutes before the onset of VPI. Palatal exercises were prescribed and the patient can now play for an hour and a half before nasal air escapes during trumpet playing.