Even simple things, like smoking or yelling a lot can eventually take their toll on your vocal cords, leading to problems that require treatment. The good news is that there are some simple things you can do to protect your voice, including:
- Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol intake.
- Drink six to eight glasses of water a day to keep your vocal cords well lubricated.
- Avoid caffeine, which tends to dry the throat and thicken secretions; it can also increase reflux of stomach acid into the throat and cause irritation.
- Rest your body and voice periodically.
- Speak in your natural tone and pitch.
- Avoid clearing your throat, excessive coughing and whispering (whispering can put more strain on your voice than speaking normally).
- Avoid excessive yelling or screaming, such as at sporting events, concerts or clubs.
- See your doctor if you experience hoarseness for more than one week without improvement or for more than two weeks total. If hoarseness is associated with shortness of breath or difficulty swallowing, see your doctor immediately.
Recognizing a problem early can often decrease the severity of a disease process and lessen the severity of the treatment, so if you are having problems with your voice or pain or discomfort in your throat, don’t hesitate to see your doctor.
To make an appointment with a physician at Rush, call 1-888-352-RUSH.