Bogart–Bacall Syndrome

Bogart–Bacall syndrome (BBS) is a voice disorder that is caused by abuse or overuse of the vocal cords.

People who speak or sing outside of their normal vocal range can develop BBS; symptoms are chiefly an unnaturally deep or rough voice, or dysphonia, and vocal fatigue. The people most commonly afflicted are those who speak in a low-pitched voice, particularly if they have poor breath and vocal control. The syndrome can affect both males and females.

Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall both suffered from this mild vocal disorder, which has been named for them. BBS is now the medical term for an ongoing hoarseness that often afflicts actors, singers or TV/radio voice workers who routinely speak in a very low pitch.

Bacall naturally had a high, nasal voice; she trained it to be lower to get her debut part in To Have and Have Not.

Treatment usually involves voice therapy by a speech language pathologist.

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