Singers need to train their vocal chords just like athletes train; but even the fittest singers strain with age.
Both aging and overtraining take tolls on a voice.
Because of advancements in surgery technique and technology, more vocal surgery is performed.
A new biogel that would restore vocal cords is entering the testing phase.
Before Whitney Houston died last week, there was talk of the 48-year-old legendary vocalist staging a comeback.
It wouldn't have been easy: Somewhere between the years of Houston mesmerizing fans with the resonating "you" in "I Will Always Love You" and the demise of Being Bobby Brown, Houston's voice had deteriorated.
What is the normal life span of a voice? Can training or techniques prevent aging of the vocal cords, and can surgery -- or a special gel -- correct it?
Think of a singer as an athlete, experts suggest.
"Just like any other muscle, it's a physical thing," said Andrea Leap, a professional singer and voice instructor at the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis. "It depends on the use. If you stopped walking up the stairs every day, it would get harder. It's exactly the same thing for the voice. Muscles do lose strength and agility as they age, so more effort is required in continuing that."