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Vocal Hygiene

Helpful Hints for a Healthy Voice

  • Increase fluid intake 4-8 ounces of water per day.
  • Avoid excessive or frequent throat clearing-try sipping water instead.
  • Frequent throat-clearing or coughing can be injurious to the vocal cords.
  • Excessive cough, mucus production, or throat clearing may be an indication of an underlying disorder such as Laryngopharyngeal Reflux.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Fatigue can cause the voice to sound hoarse.
  • Use plenty of breath support. Your lungs are the generator of the voice. Take advantage of them.
  • Do not speak in sentences that are too long. This causes you to vocalize with inadequate breath support at the end of your air stream. Shorter sentences with a deep breath in between optimizes breath support.
  • Minimize caffeine, alcohol and dairy intake. These can dry out the vocal cords and/or create thick mucous.
  • Avoid menthol throat lozenges. These can dry the throat.
  • Avoid smoking, people who smoke, and noxious fumes. These are irritating and damaging to the vocal cords.
  • Be aware of background noise. Raising your voice above others in a loud environment can cause straining and vocal abuse.
  • Watch volumes and posture of head/neck while on the telephone. This can cause uneven pressure and strain on the vocal cords.
  • If it seems speaking takes extra effort, you have throat discomfort or pain after using your voice, experience vocal fatigue or experience “cracking” of the voice, consult with your laryngologist.