As the holiday season approaches, more people voice concern about the best methods for keeping vocal cords in shape for upcoming church choir performances, holiday concerts and spur-of-the-moment caroling.
Common causes for voice problems include misuse, such as loud talking in noisy environments and excessive coughing; smoking; and acid reflux, as well as stress, allergies, medications and even inadequate water consumption.
“The best thing you can do is to keep up an adequate level of hydration,” said Janis Deane, a speech pathologist who specializes in voice disorders at the Clinical Center for Voice Care at UT Southwestern Medical Center. “Grab a bottle of water instead of a cup of coffee, which tends to dry you out.”
If you have to do a lot of singing in a short period of time, consider giving your vocal cords a rest by staying quiet during rehearsal break, said Dr. Ted Mau, a laryngologist and throat surgeon with the Clinical Center for Voice Care. “It’s particularly important to not push your voice when you already feel you need to strain to sing or talk.”
Other precautions to consider:
Voice problems that last beyond a few weeks should be evaluated by a physician.
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Media Contact: Russell Rian
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