Today the staff of ESHC celebrates World Voice Day – an international celebration established in 2002 in order to promote global awareness of vocal health and to celebrate communication.
Our voices are our distinct “fingerprints” allowing us to uniquely share stories, expressions, emotions and more! Take a moment to think of all the ways you use your voice in a single day…
We use our voices each and every day, and it is important to protect and keep it healthy. Voice problems may arise from various sources including voice overuse or misuse, cancer, infection, or injury. We put together some steps that you can take to prevent voice problems and maintain a healthy voice:
Drink water!: Hydration is one of the most important elements to maintaining a healthy voice. Drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water a day will help keep your mucous production healthy and allow your vocal folds to freely move without the weight of thick mucous on top of them.
Caffeine and Alcohol in Moderation: We know it’s hard to tell a Seattlite to cut coffee out of their diet, so we like to encourage coffees, teas, soda and alcohol in moderation. These substances can dehydrate the vocal tract making it harder to produce sounds.
Do not smoke: It is well known that smoking leads to lung or throat cancer. Primary and secondhand smoke that is breathed in passes by the vocal cords causing significant irritation and swelling of the vocal cords. This will permanently change voice quality, nature, and capabilities.
Protect your voice: Your voice is not indestructible. Yelling, screaming, and/or cheering on a regular basis can be damaging to your voice. Be careful to not raise your voice in background noises and if possible amplify your voice with a microphone when in a noisy room (i.e. presentations, classroom settings, etc.).
Rest: If your throat feels dry, tired or your voice is becoming hoarse – stop talking! You’ll allow your vocal folds time to heal from the pressures of the day.
Minimize throat clearing: Clearing your throat can be compared to slapping or slamming the vocal cords together. Excessive throat clearing can cause vocal cord injury and/or hoarseness. Instead of clearing your voice, take a small sip of water or simply swallow to clear the secretions from the throat and alleviate the need for throat clearing or coughing.
Moderate voice use when sick: It is important to “listen to what your voice is telling you.” When you are sick there is a great likelihood of creating damage. Take it easy and use your voice as little as possible.
Happy World Voice Day!