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:

  1. 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)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. USE MONITORS WHEN PERFORMING:  Monitor your self while singing or performing
  5. 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.
  6. KNOW SIDE EFFECTS OF MEDICATION:  Some medications can affect your voice
  7. 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
  8. AVOID GETTING SICK BY PROPER HAND WASHING.  Don’t touch your face, eyes, mouth or nose prior to washing your hands.
  9. NO SMOKING:  Smoking is very irritating to the vocal folds, can cause permanent damage in the tissues of the throat and causes cancer.
  10. WOMEN SHOULD BE CAREFUL DURING MENSTRUAL CYCLES:  The lowering of estrogen levels can result in vocal fold swelling for some women.
  11. REST YOUR VOICE BEFORE A DAY OF PERFORMANCE:  Important to rest in between performances
  12. 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
  13. AVOID WHISPERING:  Use a quiet voice instead