Back to School: Protect your Voice

Most people are aware of bodily or dental hygiene as daily practices, but have you ever considered how to maintain a healthy voice? As the school year starts back, it's a great time to remind everyone using their voices professionally -- teachers, but also clergy, salespeople, and performers -- to maintain vocal hygiene.

Why does vocal hygiene matter? People who speak professionally in an extended capacity are at a greater risk of long-term damage to their voices, but daily practices of vocal hygiene can significantly lessen these risks.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association recommends the following practices for vocal health:

  1. Drink lots of water throughout the day.
  2. Avoid shouting and throat-clearing.
  3. Don't push your voice, especially if you're feeling sick.
  4. Consider using a microphone or other amplification if you need to speak while ill.
  5. Take vocal breaks and allow your vocal folds to recover.
  6. Decrease environmental noise.
  7. Recognize red flags such as consistent raspy voice, consistent discomfort, or frequent coughing.

Have other questions about vocal health? As a Sidekick speech therapist today!

Paul Rice, M.S., CCC-SLP


ASHA Offers Tips for Teachers to Protect Their Voices This School Year