OBJECTIVES: To characterize geriatric dysphonia, including its prevalence, quality-of-life impairment, and association with overall health status. DESIGN: A validated survey-based study of geriatric dysphonia. SETTING: An independent living facility for geriatric individuals. PARTICIPANTS: The entire population of residents at the facility was offered the survey. The inclusion criterion was aged 65 and older. MEASUREMENTS: Two survey-based measures were used to characterize dysphonia: a direct question asking whether participants had problems with their voice and a voice-related quality-of-life (V-RQOL) measure. In addition, participants were administered the 12-item Medical Outcomes Study Short Form survey, U.S. version 2.0, a concise survey designed to evaluate overall health status. RESULTS: The prevalence of dysphonia was 20%. More than 50% of patients with voice problems incurred significant quality-of-life impairment resulting from their dysphonia as measured using V-RQOL scores. The mean total V-RQOL score±standard deviation was 89±20. Finally, general health measures did not reflect V-RQOL. CONCLUSION: There is a high prevalence of voice problems in older people, with a large proportion having significantly impaired quality of life related to their dysphonia. General health measures do not reflect V-RQOL, and many individuals may wrongly attribute dysphonia to age-related change alone. Administration of validated instruments for assessing dysphonia is encouraged, because direct questions regarding voice difficulties may not be sensitive to the severity of vocal impairment. © 2006, The American Geriatrics Society.