Have you ever woken up and tried to talk, but no sound came out or your voice sounded “funny”? Initially, this can be a scary experience, however, there are several preventative measures you can take to reduce the chances of this happening to you.
Just like any other part of the body, it is important to protect your voice. Your voice is produced by air coming up from the lungs through the vocal folds causing them to vibrate together to produce sound. When you do not properly take care of your voice, vocal abuse can occur. Vocal abuse can happen for a variety of reasons, such as prolonged yelling or screaming, dehydration, and/or a variety of environmental factors. As a result, you may notice a change in your voice (i.e. rough or scratchy) or a complete loss of your voice. In order to protect and maintain a healthy voice, it is important to practice good vocal hygiene.
Here are some simple ways to maintain good vocal hygiene in your everyday life:
-Reduce yelling or talking over loud noises
-Use amplification when needed (i.e. microphone)
-Limit caffeine intake
-Be mindful of side effects of medications (i.e. antihistamines)
-Conserve your voice when you are able too