We’re sure that the tenor Pavarotti knew exactly how to protect his voice and vocal cords as do Celine Dion and Lady Gaga today. Most of us normal folks don’t sing for a living or pay so much attention to our voices, although we should. Nevertheless, we normal folks do talk to communicate, so let’s look at 8 techniques to help prevent vocal health problems.
The Power Of Our Voices
Lest you think this information is inconsequential, you should think again. We sometimes use our eyes or facial expressions to communicate with others how we feel or think, but it’s our voice that really does the work. Imagine not being able to speak for an entire day and how frustrating that would be. Yes, our vocal health is important.
Keep Your Vocal Cords Hydrated
Even thought it seems impossible, drink 6 – 8 glasses of water each day. Our vocal cords need a thin mucus to remain healthy. Consuming watery fruits like pears, apples, watermelon and grapes can also help.
At the same time, avoid alcohol and caffeine since they do the opposite. They not only dry out our vocal cords, but alcohol can also irritate the mucous membranes that line the throat.
Pretend You Are In A Library
Shouting, yelling, or trying to be heard in a crowded venue is a big no-no for your voice. It strains those vocal cords unnecessarily.
Watch Your Meds
Many medications for cold, allergy, and sinus problems can lead to a dry throat so be sure to drink additional water to counteract these conditions.
Be Judicious With Your Voice
“Silence is golden,” may apply here. Or even, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” There are times you should rest your voice especially if you need to speak as part of your job. Teachers, professional speakers, lawyers, customer service reps all use their voices all day long. Always take an opportunity to not speak.
Better yet, don’t smoke at all, and try to avoid secondhand smoke. Smoking dries out the larynx and can cause cancer.
Use A Humidifier
A humidifier serves many purposes for our nose, throat, and respiratory system. 30% is recommended to keep our vocal cords and larynx moist especially in cold dry climates.
Look Forward When You Speak
Note how many people cradle their phones between their head and shoulders. This just puts strain on our neck muscles. Instead, when on the phone, look forward like the person you are talking to is standing right in front of you. This helps us breathe properly and open up our vocal cords.
Avoid Spicy Foods
This may seem kind of strange, but spicy foods can lead to GERD causing stomach acid to back up into the throat and esophagus. This frequent “stomach acid bath” is not good for vocal health. See a doctor if you have this issue.
When you are ill or fatigued, rest and rest your voice. If your voice has become hoarse for longer than two weeks due to an upper respiratory infection, see a provider at Coastal ENT right away. Constantly clearing your throat can irritate your vocal cords.