- Use your voice well! Learn to optimize healthy voice production. If you do a lot of talking or singing, learn to produce voice well - without strain or damage.
- Keep your voice hydrated! Adequate hydration is very important for healthy voice and vocal folds. Drink at least 2 – 3 litres of water per day. Steaming helps vocal wellness.
- Warm up your voice! (As you would the rest of your body) if you’re going to embark on prolonged talking or singing - e.g. Teacher, Minister of Religion or Call Centre Operator.
- Be wary talking or singing above background noise! This can strain your voice so you need to recognize and avoid high voice risk situations.
- Don’t smoke and avoid smoky environments!
- Don’t repeatedly clear your throat and avoid coughing excessively! These activities damage your voice.
- Consider using amplification (microphone or megaphone) where loud voice is necessary.
- Certain medications and drinks can dehydrate your voice. These include antihistamines, cold and flu medications, coffee and alcohol. Take these into account when talking or singing.
- Don’t scream or shout! Using loud voice without damage requires special skills. If you have to use loud voice, get specialist training from a Voice Teacher or Speech Pathologist.
- Especially look after your voice during allergies and upper respiratory tract infections! Your voice is more susceptible to damage at these times.
Remember it’s important to seek evaluation and advice from an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist if your voice is hoarse or husky for more than a few weeks, particularly if you smoke or don’t have cold symptoms.
Australian Voice Association www.australianvoiceassociation.com.au