Voice hygiene is the care for a healthy voice. This document includes all measures intended to improve the health of the voice and the functioning of the vocal cords. Incorrect use of voice and misuse of the voice can play an important role in the development and persistence of voice complaints. Therefore, read the following advice carefully.
1. No smoking
Smoke irritates the mucous membranes of the nose, throat and larynx.
Avoid dusty and smoky spaces. For singers it is important to know that smoking can also (sometimes after a longer period of time) cause loss of range of the voice.
2. Breathe at rest through your nose
The nose purifies and heats the cold, dirty and dry outside air or the dry air that air conditioning causes; by breathing through the nose there is less chance of infection in the nose and throat. If you cannot breathe through the nose for long periods of time, please let the ENT doctor and/or speech therapist know
3. Avoid speaking in a noisy environment
In environments with noise such as in the car or in public transport or at a party you will speak louder without realizing. This can lead to throat and / or voice complaints because the vocal cords are overloaded. Don’t yell and scream, because you’ll use more force that the vocal cords can tolerate.
4. Drink water
Drink about two liters of water per day. Drinking moistens the mucous membranes and ensures drainage of the mucus
5. Avoid scraping, coughing and coughing as much as possible.
The vocal cords hit each other hard while coughing, coughing and scraping. The throat and larynx become irritated. The irritated mucous membranes produce mucus again that must be coughed away, chastised or scraped away which leads to more irritation.
Drink a sip of water instead or try to swallow the itch. Ask the speech therapist how you can cough without causing much damage
6. Speak as little as possible if you have a cold
If the infection has caused redness and swelling, you should speak as little as possible to reduce the chance of overloading
7. Don’t whisper when you have a cold
Whispering is an unnatural way of speaking that irritates the vocal cords and puts extra strain.
8. Swim as little as possible in chlorinated water
Chlorine irritates the mucous membranes. Also pay close attention at home with cleaning products containing chlorine or ammonia. These agents can be harmful to the mucous membranes
9. Do not use spicy or sour candy
Spicy or sour candy (including potter’s, fishermansfriend etc) that contain a lot of mentol that affect the mucous membrane. Initially, this will give the feeling of more space and air in the throat, however, the mucous membranes will work extra hard to repair the mucous membrane. This gives extra mucus, which increases the chance of scraping, and coughing and you will end up in a vicious circle
10. Shouting, screaming, screeching
These forms of using your voice give a sudden or maladaptive high voice load that is harmful to the vocal cords. You may not aware of using your voice in this manner, but think for example sporting events or speaking loudly in a noisy environment.