Voice care for professionals: Tips and techniques for maintaining vocal health
Whether you’re a teacher, public speaker, actor, singer or even a business executive, if your job involves using your voice, maintaining your vocal health is crucial to your success. Here are some tips for keeping your voice in top shape.
- Stay hydrated. Proper hydration is key to vocal cord functioning. Vocal cords need to stay moist to work correctly, so drinking plenty of water throughout the day can keep your voice in working order. Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption which can dehydrate you.
- Warm up and cool down. Singers, television reporters and anyone else who needs to have control over the tone of their voice know the importance of vocal warm-ups and cool-downs. Exercises such as humming, scales or lip trills can prepare your vocal cords by reducing strain.
- Breathe with your diaphragm. Diaphragmatic breathing, which supports your voice with ample air, reduces the strain on your vocal cords. Shallow breathing through the chest doesn’t support your vocal cords as well, leading to vocal fatigue and strain. Breathing can be impacted by posture, so make sure you keep your shoulders relaxed with your spine and head aligned for optimal airflow.
- Avoid vocal strain. Yelling or even speaking loudly for extended periods can strain your vocal cords. If you must raise your voice, consider using amplification such as a microphone when possible. Avoid throat clearing which is also rough on your vocal cords.
- Get some rest. A tired body and tired voice go hand in hand. Getting enough sleep ensures your vocal cords have adequate time to recover from a day of work. You can also minimize the use of your voice when not working to gain some extra downtime.
- Manage your environment. Dry and dusty environments can irritate your vocal cords. Use a humidifier in your home or workplace. Avoid smoke and other pollutants which can be harmful to your voice.
If you are experiencing persistent vocal problems, such as hoarseness or discomfort, it’s time to consult with an ENT specialist. As a professional, your voice is a valuable asset that deserves specialized care to ensure it stays healthy and reliable. By prioritizing your vocal health, Biltmore ENT will work with you to preserve your voice for all your professional pursuits and endeavors to come. Call (602) 560-1085 to make an appointment.