The voice is a fragile thing. Many people do not realize they need to take care of their voice the way they should take care of any other body part. This is especially important for singers, performers, or any other profession that relies on the use of the voice. Furthermore, many people do not realize that speech therapy can help protect your voice and solve voice issues. Here are four things to avoid in order to protect your voice.

1. Very cold drinks

When objects get cold they contract. Your body is the same way. When you get cold, you tighten or curl up for warmth. Even though the liquid itself does not touch the vocal folds, cold drinks will cause your vocal folds and other muscles in the same area to tighten. Over time, this can have an ill effect on your voice.

2. Smoke

Smoking already has many negative effects on your health. One of those negative effects is on the vocal folds. Smoke can dry out the vocal fold tissues, kill the cells in your throat, create mucus problems, and build tar in your lungs. This can affect the flow of air and the quality of your voice.

3. Overuse

Vocal folds in the throat vibrate together when sound is produced. Yelling and screaming cause the vocal folds to crash together very aggressively. The harsh contact can cause wear and tear of your vocal folds over time.

4. Over-the-counter throat sprays

Pain in your throat tells you that there is something wrong. Throat numbing medications such as sprays and syrups temporarily relieve any pain in the throat, but you should think twice before using one. The pain may disappear for a while, but the real problem is still there. It is like flipping a stained seat cushion. The problem is hidden, but it is still there. When you do not feel the pain you may continue to engage in activities that can harm your voice.

Please be mindful when participating in any activities that affect your voice. Visit our website for more information on speech therapy for voice or other issues, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Jeanette Podolsky BA (Speech and Hearing Therapy) Wits. Reg. CASLPO
Clinical Director
The Speech Therapy Centres of Canada

photo credit: Beverly & Pack via photopin cc