This handout contains tips for good vocal hygiene. Maintaining good vocal hygiene is essential in prevention of vocal fold injuries (especially in times of high voice demands), as well as facilitating recovery from vocal cord surgery. Not all of the ideas will apply to you. Your Laryngologist / Voice Therapist will tailor the vocal wellness advice to meet your specific needs.
HydrationWell-hydrated vocal folds vibrate more easily than dry vocal folds, and are less likely to be injured. Keep your vocal folds hydrated from within and on the surface.
RefluxLaryngo-pharyngeal reflux (LPR) occurs when stomach acid and digestive enzymes spills onto the larynx (voice box). This acid can irritate the vocal folds, and increase mucus and the sensation of throat discomfort. To reduce LPR:
IrritantsTo minimise irritation to vocal folds, which are very sensitive:
PhonotraumaPhonotrauma refers to injury to the vocal folds associated with voice use.
Examples include screaming, shouting, telephone use, and speaking in loud environments (e.g. restaurants, parties, meetings). Know that these are “danger zones” for the voice.
Vocal fatigueWhen your voice feels tired, here are a few tips:
Overall healthYour voice is part of your body. It is also linked to your feelings and state of mind. So if your body is tired, or you’re not feeling well, that might impact your voice.