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  • Writer's pictureEngage PT, OT, SLP Therapy and Wellness

The Importance of Voice Hygiene

Protecting your voice is important. Our voice is one piece of what makes us individuals. We don’t often think about how we are using our voice or what we are doing to protect our voice until there is an issue. Daily vocal hygiene involves taking the steps to keep your vocal folds healthy and your voice strong and clear. 

Our vocal folds are covered by a thin layer of mucous, which is vital to achieving vibration of the vocal folds for voicing. To function properly, the mucosal layer needs to stay moist. How do we do that? Easy answer…adequate intake of water! Drinking water and avoiding caffeinated beverages is one of the best and easiest ways to maintain a healthy voice. Also, who hasn’t heard their doctor tell them lately that they need to drink more water?

Another important component of vocal hygiene is HOW you are using your voice. Do you love to cheer on your favorite football team on Sundays? Do you get frustrated with Syracuse sports? Are you a teacher or a professional voice user? If so, you may be harming your vocal folds by improperly using your voice. Prolonged or loud shouting, cheering, screaming or excessive talking could impact your voice. When using your voice in these ways, your vocal folds are slamming together in a harsh way and after an extended period of time, this could be harmful to your vocal folds.

Unhealthy voice habits could lead to changes in your voice quality such as hoarseness, breathiness, vocal fatigue or even damage to your vocal folds like nodules. If you are experiencing changes to your voice that lasts longer than 3 weeks, you may benefit from seeing an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor for a full assessment. Your ENT may use a scope with a camera to look at your voice box for any problems. Speech Language Pathologists are trained to work with individuals to regain their voice, teach about good voice habits and to avoid any further damage. 

Stay tuned for “The Importance of Vocal Hygiene - Part 2” for more tips and tricks for taking care of your voice! Reach out to Engage therapy and wellness at 315-810-2423 today and see if speech therapy may be right for you! 

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