Here come the concerts and the festive season and brings with it joy and what is the most obvious way of expressing ecstasy? Yes, you want to scream and shout and let it all out! Following which, waking up, you might feel a slight change in your voice or pain in your throat. Misuse and/or abuse of voice does not only arise during festivals and concerts, but also during various other situations (Talking constantly, Screaming and Shouting, Singing Incorrectly). I recently attended a concert. With one of my favorite artists around, it was hard to not sing out his songs at the top of my voice. This culminated in slight hoarseness in my voice.
There are certain basic techniques with which we can feel better about our voice and experience lesser pain. A lot of professionals like teachers, journalists, singers, politicians, sales executives rely majorly on their voice for their income. Sometimes, it can occur in persons who are garrulous, people who use their voice incorrectly and also not take care of their vocal hygiene.
So how should we maintain Good Vocals? Here’s a few tips to take care of your voice!
- Avoid speaking in loud environments:
The environment around us can get really noisy at times. While communicating with persons next to us or even at a foot’s distance in such scenarios, we tend to elevate the loudness of our voice in order to make ourselves audible. This leads to adding more pressure on our vocal cords (voice box), by straining them.
- Avoid speaking to huge crowds without aids:
While addressing larger crowds or in a situation where we have to be heard by a huge group of persons, we should use an aid that’ll help us speak with less strain. Use of mics is one good solution. If a teacher is teaching in a class and the class is widespread, he/she can get the class closer to her, thereby, reducing the distance that has to be covered.
- Avoid Excessive Coughing & Throat Clearing.
Your Vocal Cords are muscles, after all. Throat clearing and coughing are both nonspeaking activities. When we clear our throats, our vocal cords rub against each other. It can result in traumatic injury to the cords. This frequent rubbing of the vocal cords can lead to a lesion making it tougher for maintaining a good vocal hygiene. Some patients have developed the habit of frequent coughing and throat clearing, despite the fact that they don’t have a need to.
- Avoid Polluted Environments:
When we breathe polluted air very frequently, it acts as an irritant to the throat and is harmful to the vocal folds. Extensive combined effects of the pollutants with other behavior can change the tissues of the larynx. This can lead to a difference to our voice by worsening the quality.
- Avoid eating Oily foods and Spicy Foods:
Oily and spicy foods can result in an acid reflux. Acid reflux is the backward flow of acid and digestive enzymes from the stomach to the food passage, throat and voice box. The throat and voice box are not well protected from these digestive enzymes. This can harm the larynx
- Alcohol, Smoking and Tobacco Consumption:
Even though it is a nonspeaking activity, Cigarette Smoking and Chronic Alcohol Abuse are harmful for our vocal cords. They act as irritants Extensive changes can be seen in the tissue of our voice folds that leads to a poor voice quality. If one continues smoking for very long, it can also lead to cancer. Alcohol has a drying effect on the larynx.
- Avoid Picking up Heavy Objects:
When we go to lift a heavy object, one normally tends to add pressure on our voice box as well. This is because the vocal cords close and they’re made extremely tight and one also makes a grunting sound or simply screams out an “aa”. This rubs the vocal cords and worsens it, thereby.
- Voice Rest:
Voice Rest is absolutely essential when you’re experiencing pain, lethargy in your voice. The simple aspects of voice rest help one recover tremendously. Avoid screaming, shouting, laughing out loud, whispering, talking for long periods, humming, and singing songs. Speak for short durations and have long intervals.
- Consume Lots of Water:
If you feel that your throat becomes dry very frequently, then have a few sips of water on regular intervals. This will have a lubricating effect. If you have to speak for long durations like giving a lecture, then have small sips of water frequently. Consume at least 1.5-2 liters of water daily.
- Balanced use of Voice:
If you’re feeling ill and tired, make sure that you rest your voice along with a full body rest. If you have an occasion coming up where you have to maximize your voice and speak, then minimalize the use of your voice before the occasion. Vocal cords are reddened and swollen due to an infection like common cold, tonsillitis, etc., avoid speaking for longer durations or harming them further by indulging in any abusive activities. The cords get sensitive and any minute damage can have extensive effects on it.
Like how we break our legs and our doctor’s address us to take some bed rest. Similarly, for our voices, we need to rest them out so that we can recover and step back into our game.