By: Ali Sheperd
Posted: 26th July 2018
Our voice is often very important to us. It is one of the main tools we use to communicate with others and they way we use our voice is an important part of how we shape our character and personality. Our voice is delicate and can be easily damaged, so we must look after the voice we have.
Despite the odd cold causing croaky voices, most people find their voice easy to look after. However, professional voice users (these are teachers, singers or anyone who has to use their voice for their work) will need to pay extra attention to their vocal habits due to the excessive use of their voice. Below are some tips on how to look after your voice.
This may seem obvious but excessive shouting will cause damage to your voice. As you shout, the vocal folds hit together harder than usual. This may eventually cause damage to the vocal folds in the form of nodules. It is therefore best to avoid shouting unnecessarily.
Eliminate throat clearing
Throat clearing (or coughing) has the same effect to the vocal folds as shouting. Excessively clearing your throat can become a habit that may cause damage to the vocal folds. Your throat can be cleared by swallowing more effectively than coughing and will be more beneficial for your voice.
Take enough breath
It is important to take enough breath with each of your sentences when speaking. Forcing out the end of your sentence to fit in with your breath, can cause damage to your voice as you are straining the vocal folds with little energy.
Fatigue is often linked with a hoarse voice. So it is important to try and get enough sleep when you can.
Not only is drinking plenty of water beneficial to many aspects of your health it is also an important aspect to vocal hygiene. By ensuring you drink lots of water, your throat is constantly hydrated when talking leading to better outcomes for your voice.
Avoid smoking, caffeine and alcohol
Again, this will have many beneficial effects to your general health and wellbeing and although it is easier said than done, avoiding smoking, caffeine and alcohol is best for your voice. Tobacco, caffeine and alcohol are all dehydrants, so consuming these substances in excess can cause a dry throat, leading to poor vocal hygiene and voice problems.
Listen to your voice
And finally, listen to your voice! If it’s starting to sound hoarse or if it’s feeling strained, it is time to give your voice a rest and let it recover before things get worse.
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