Care of Professional Voice
For those patients who use their voice professionally- singers, speakers, etc- there are several things you can do to keep your voice strong and healthy:
- MAINTAIN ADEQUATE HYDRATION: 64 ounces a day is highly recommended to maintain hydration. Research indicates adequate hydration allows vocal cords to vibrate with less “push’ from the lungs (Titze, 1988; Verdolini-Marston, Druker, & Titze, 1990; Verdolini et al., 2002; Titze, 1981; Verolini-Marston, Sandage, and Titze, 1994)
- WARM UP AND COOL DOWN YOUR VOICE: If you are going to make a presentation, sing, or speak for prolonged periods of time, warming up your voice is important. Easy glides and lip trills for warm up and humming to cool down.
- CONSIDER AMPLIFICATION: Important to use amplification if you are recovering from an episode of vocal illness or if you are speaking/singing to a large group.
- USE MONITORS WHEN PERFORMING: Monitor your self while singing or performing
- KNOW YOUR VOCAL RANGE: Occasionally you will find that you are singing or performing in a range that is not optimal for your voice. A voice coach or speech therapist can determine your range.
- KNOW SIDE EFFECTS OF MEDICATION: Some medications can affect your voice
- DON’T ABUSE YOUR VOICE: This includes, yelling, talking in noisy and smoky environments, excessive throat clearing, talking or singing when you have a cold or laryngitis
- AVOID GETTING SICK BY PROPER HAND WASHING. Don’t touch your face, eyes, mouth or nose prior to washing your hands.
- NO SMOKING: Smoking is very irritating to the vocal folds, can cause permanent damage in the tissues of the throat and causes cancer.
- WOMEN SHOULD BE CAREFUL DURING MENSTRUAL CYCLES: The lowering of estrogen levels can result in vocal fold swelling for some women.
- REST YOUR VOICE BEFORE A DAY OF PERFORMANCE: Important to rest in between performances
- STOP SINGING OR PERFORMING IF YOU FEEL VOCALLY FATIGUED: You may push your voice too much causing more problems including swelling and inappropriate use of your voice
- AVOID WHISPERING: Use a quiet voice instead