In the “Quiet
Place” movie franchise, talking – or making any noise – is almost certainly
fatal. But what would happen in real life if you went without speaking for a
When we speak, our vocal cords
vibrate against each other because air from the lungs passes through them when
closed. This creates a sound or acoustic signal that moves through the throat,
mouth, and nose. Speech sounds are then formed by our tongue, teeth, nose, and
Your vocal cords are muscles, and
like all muscles they would eventually start to atrophy from disuse. However, if
you were concerned that they would stop working altogether, you have little to
fear. The muscles that control the voice also control breathing and swallowing,
so they would still get some use. Also, your tongue, teeth, and nose would still
be used for eating and breathing, so they wouldn’t atrophy. The worst that
would happen is your voice would get a bit weaker, similar to what happens as
you get older. However, after some use, your voice would return to normal.
doesn’t reside just in the vocal cords. Language is stored in our brain, which
is why we can read silently and why deaf people (such as the daughter in “A
Quiet Place”) can still communicate with sign language. Therefore, people who
are silent for long stretches of time shouldn’t worry about forgetting how to
talk once they try it again.
you talk every day or have taken a vow of silence, CEENTA’s ENT physicians and voice & swallowing specialists can help treat your vocal cords. “A Quiet
Place” may be a work of fiction, but the premier care you get from CEENTA’s
doctors is very much grounded in reality.
blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical
questions, please consult your doctor. New patients can make
appointments online with our doctors in North and South Carolina. Current patients can also make appointments through myCEENTAchart with physicians they have already seen.
While many know about alcohol’s ability to impact judgement and motor skills, its impact on your voice is one that might surprise you.
The nose knows.
Too much noise, too much pain.