Many people don’t realize that they have habits that are damaging to their vocal cords until it is too late and they need professional intervention to fix their vocal issues. In 2015, resolve to follow our three vocal hygiene tips to maintain a strong, healthy voice:
Remember to Hydrate: Parched vocal cords can be easily damaged and decrease the quality of your voice. Keep a bottle of water with you throughout the workday, especially in situations in which you’ll be speaking for a long time or in front of a group of people. Also, try not to over-do it on the coffee—caffeine is dehydrating and can dry out your vocal cords.
Watch Your Volume: Often when people are in a noisy situation in which they’re having trouble being heard, they simply raise their voice louder and louder. Talking above a comfortable conversational level for long periods of time can cause strain and damage to the vocal cords. Instead of raising your voice, your first line of defense should be to change the environment. If there’s significant noise from outside the room, shut the windows or door. If you’re speaking to someone who is far away, walk over and speak to them instead of shouting. If you’re giving a presentation, request a microphone in advance so you don’t have to shout to the back of the room.
Break Harmful Habits: Many people clear their throat repeatedly throughout the day, as a nervous habit. Each time you clear your throat, your vocal cords slam forcefully into one another, which can cause inflammation and injury over time. Only clear your throat when you genuinely feel as though you have something blocking or coating your airway. If you clear your throat out of habit, work on taking a sip of water or a deep breath instead.
For information on our New York based Speech-Language Pathology services, please call Speech Associates of New York today at (212) 308-7725 or visit our website at http://www.speechassociatesofny.com and find out how our team of professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists can help!
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