Voice problems are many times caused by a combination of physical, environmental, and situational factors. You can maximize the daily performance of your voice by following some general voice care guidelines.
• Drink water: Vocal folds that are well hydrated vibrate more efficiently and are less susceptible to injury. Your weight ÷ 2.2 = ounces of water per day you need.) Limit caffeine and alcohol, which cause dehydration to your system.
• Medications: Be aware that some medications can cause dryness. Dry environments can also effect hydration of your vocal folds. Dry air can occur from air conditioners and gas furnaces. Humidifiers can be helpful with compensating for dryness.
• Acid Reflux: When acid from the stomach travels all the way to the back of the throat, it is termed laryngo-pharyngeal reflux. The tissues in the throat (which include the larynx) are much more sensitive so that smaller amounts of acid to this area can result in more damage, thereby directly effecting the voice. Smoking: Smoking is bad for the heart, lungs, and vocal tract. Smoke is very irritating to the vocal folds, and in addition to causing hoarseness, can lead to cancer of the voice box.
• Avoid coughing and throat clearing.
• Avoid loud voice use. This includes shouting, screaming, excessive crying, and loud laughter. Be aware of pushing your voice in noisy environments which can cause significant muscle tension.
• Avoid overuse. Know the limits of your voice! Rest your voice before vocally demanding events.