Young people in Hong Kong were urged not to sing karaoke without voice training to avoid causing permanent voice damage.
Two out of five young people have suffered from voice problems in recent years caused by prolonged and improper use of their voices, said surgeons at Queen Mary Hospital.
Singing karaoke and taking part in summer camps or jobs which involved speaking loudly or shouting were to blame, said the experts. They are now urging young people to undergo proper voice training before such activities.
Dr Paul Lam, a consultant at the hospital, said improper use of the voice could lead to scarring or nodules on the vocal chords.
"Sometimes, even if we do surgery for vocal faults, their natural voice cannot be restored to normal," he said. – (SAPA, July 2007)