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Voice Care Tips

Whether you're in a concert hall, theater, lecture hall or on a sound stage, if your livelihood depends on your voice, you must take special care of your instrument. UCI Health voice experts understand your unique needs and provide state-of-the-art care to resolve your voice problems.

10 tips to prevent voice problems

1. Hydrate

Each layer of the vocal cord is made up of a certain amount of water. The more water you consume, the easier it is for the vocal cords to vibrate and make sound. We recommend at least eight glasses a day to maintain good vocal health.

2. Avoid smoke

Smoking and use of tobacco products are the leading causes of laryngeal cancer. They can also irritate your throat, dehydrating the tissues and damaging your vocal cords.

3. Rest

Take frequent breaks while rehearsing and preserve your voice as much as possible.

4. Exercise

Focus on cardio workouts and anything that can increase your lung capacity. Exercise also reduces stress, which can negatively impact your vocal performance.

5. Warm up

Your vocal cords are muscles, so remember to warm up before a presentation or performance.

6. Avoid clearing your throat

When you clear your throat, it causes trauma to your vocal cords. Sip water instead.

7. Avoid certain medications

Antihistamines and aspirin damage your vocal cords by drying them out and thinning the blood, making them more susceptible to injury.

8. Inhale steam

The moisture can counteract a dry environment and help hydrate the surface of the glands on the the vocal cord. Be sure to use distilled water.

9. Don't yell

Yelling traumatizes the vocal cords and adds undue stress. Keep your voice in a soft, reasonable range.

10. Know the signs of voice disorder

If you experience hoarseness, breathiness or pain while speaking, consult an expert.

When to consult an expert

If you experience the symptoms of a voice disorder for more than 10 days, consult a medical expert. The UC Irvine Professional Voice Care Program is led by Dr. Sunil Verma, a fellowship-trained laryngologist, who is board certified in otolaryngology as well as head and neck surgery.

We know that time is of the essence when you have a voice concern. That's why our physicians return emergency calls 24 hours a day and are available for telephone conferencing. In the case of professional performers, our specialists are able to make in-person visits for urgent consultations.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, call our experts for an evaluation at 714-456-7017 or request an appointment online ›

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