UCI Health expert offers top 10 tips for vocal care for World Voice Day

Celebrate the phenomenon of voice on April 16

April 14, 2015

A healthy voice is easy to take for granted. It is not until a problem – ranging from mild discomfort to the inability to speak – occurs that we appreciate the phenomenon that is our voice.

“Our voice is vital for social interaction and a distinct part of our identity,” says UCI Health voice, swallowing and breathing expert, Dr. Sunil Verma. “Proper care and use of your voice improves the likelihood of maintaining vocal health throughout your lifetime.”

In recognition of World Voice Day on April 16, Verma recommends that everyone take time to assess their vocal health. Here are his top 10 voice care tips:

  1. Hydrate
  2. Avoid smoke
  3. Rest
  4. Exercise
  5. Warm up
  6. Avoid clearing your throat
  7. Avoid certain medications
  8. Inhale steam
  9. Don’t yell
  10. Know the signs of voice disorder

Verma is the director of the UCI Health University Voice & Swallowing Center, and a well-recognized expert who has appeared as a guest on The Doctors television show. He successfully performed surgery that restored the voices of patients like Robert Nguyen and Kiana Davis who had previously been unable to speak above a whisper.

“If you are experiencing any symptoms for more than 10 days, you should consult a medical expert,” he said.

Symptoms may include:

  • A hoarse, rough, or gravelly voice
  • A voice that sounds weak or tired after talking or singing
  • Hoarseness that continues for more than two weeks
  • Neck or throat discomfort after exerting your voice
  • Words that sound strangulated
  • A burning or stinging feeling in your throat
  • Throat spasms
  • Frequent throat clearing
  • The feeling that you have a lump in your throat
  • Trouble swallowing, including coughing and choking

 The public is invited to attend a celebration of World Voice Day, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at UC Irvine Medical Center, featuring a reception hosted by Verma, followed by a lecture and special presentation on the state of voice care and experiences from patients.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call UCI Health University Voice & Swallowing Center at 714-456-7017.

UCI Health comprises the clinical, medical education and research enterprises of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UCI Health at physician offices throughout Orange County and at its main campus, UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, Calif., a 411-bed acute care hospital that provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation. U.S. News & World Report has listed it among America’s Best Hospitals for 14 consecutive years. UC Irvine Medical Center features Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program, Level I trauma center and Level II pediatric trauma center, and is the primary teaching hospital for UC Irvine School of Medicine. UCI Health serves a region of more than 3 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the University of California, Irvine: Currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $4.8 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.