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:
- Drink lots of water throughout the day.
- Avoid shouting and throat-clearing.
- Don't push your voice, especially if you're feeling sick.
- Consider using a microphone or other amplification if you need to speak while ill.
- Take vocal breaks and allow your vocal folds to recover.
- Decrease environmental noise.
- 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