How to care for your voice

Published: Sunday, April 23, 2023
Eleonor Shaw, MS
Speech-Language Pathologist

World Voice Day is a day celebrated during the month of April to recognize the important role our voices play in daily life. Keep your voice healthy and strong by reading our tips below!

1. Care for your voice by taking care of your body.

Some ways to do this are to stay hydrated, get enough sleep, work with your physician to manage reflux, and avoid irritants such as tobacco smoke.

2. There are some vocal behaviors that should be avoided as they may cause irritation or trauma to the vocal folds.

Some of these behaviors include:

  • Excessive and unnecessary throat clearing or coughing
  • Whispering
  • Yelling or screaming
  • Room-to-room conversations
  • Talking loudly for a prolonged period
  • Speaking over loud background noise

Instead, try some of these lower-impact vocal strategies to avoid vocal fold trauma:

  • Speak at a moderate volume
  • Come closer to your conversational partner
  • Use lights or waving to gain attention
  • Use noisemakers at sporting events
  • Eliminate background noise when possible
  • Use amplification to project your voice if you’re speaking in a large space
  • Give yourself small voice breaks throughout the day to rest your voice

3. Do you find yourself clearing your throat frequently?

Throat clearing is a traumatic behavior for the vocal folds. Instead of clearing your throat, try one of these strategies:

  • Inhale through your nose and swallow
  • Swallow your saliva hard
  • Sip on water
  • Hum lightly then swallow

Taking small steps toward caring for your voice and body today will help preserve the health of your voice throughout your life.

Learn More

Please visit the Rehabilitation Institute to learn more about our outpatient Speech Therapy services. If you think you or someone you know could benefit from Speech Therapy, call 770-219-8200.

Please note that experiencing hoarseness or voice changes for more than two weeks warrants an evaluation by an Ear, Nose & Throat physician.

April is Head and Neck Cancer Month

In addition, April is National Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month. Head and neck cancer patients often experience difficulties using their voice due to the effects of cancer or treatment. Speech therapists in conjunction with the medical team can help patients overcome and compensate for challenges related to swallowing, speaking and voice.