Vocal Health Frequently Asked Questions
An abnormality of the pitch, loudness, and/or quality of one’s voice.
FAQ: I’m young; do I really need to worry about my voice?
Yes! Even young children can have voice problems if they don’t use there voice properly. People whose professions require frequent talking and/or singing are more at risk for voice problems than the rest of the population.
FAQ: How will I know if I have a voice disorder?
- If you notice a change in the way your voice sounds (like hoarseness or loss of voice), or if you find yourself straining to talk/sing, then you might have a voice problem.
FAQ: What is vocal hygiene/health?
- Vocal hygiene describes the use of habits that are good for your voice. For good vocal health, we want to increase good habits and decrease harmful ones as much as possible.
FAQ: What things are harmful to my vocal folds?
- Dry/dusty environments
- Drug use
- Poor air quality
- Constant throat clearing
- Straining your voice
FAQ: What habits are good for my voice?
Keeping your vocal cords hydrated
- Drink at least 8 cups of water each day
- Sleep with a humidifier
- Avoid caffeine and soda
Monitoring how much you use your voice
- Don’t talk over noise
- Rest your voice daily
Knowing what is good and bad for your voice
- E.g., exercise is good
- E.g., constant throat clearing is bad
Being extra careful when you are sick
- Rest your voice
Practicing good performance behaviors
- Good posture and breath support
- Use a microphone for amplification
- Do your warm up exercises
- - Crescendo --> decrescendo
- - Gently bite your tongue tip and speak
- - Yawn/stretch your facial muscles
- Cool down after singing
- - Massage neck and face muscles
FAQ: Will it help if I drink water right before I have to speak or perform?
Not for that performance. Water has to be absorbed into the body in order to be effective. Also, when you drink water it goes down into your stomach, which does not actually pass through your vocal cords (your vocal cords are in your airway, which goes to your lungs).
FAQ: What should I do if I think I might have a voice disorder?
If you think you might have a voice disorder, implement good vocal hygiene practices immediately and make an appointment with your doctor.