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Thursday, May 26, 2022

World Voice Day: Doctor shares why you need alertness to voice problems (and tips to protect your voice)

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Many of the voice problems, especially in professional voice users, can be prevented. These warrant an awareness of the Dos and Don’ts in one’s daily lifestyle and voice use.

Smoking can harm the voice in many ways, most importantly by its association with malignant changes in the voice box or lungs. So, complete cessation of smoking is an absolute must in voice protection. The other general guidelines would be to avoid over-spicy and over-starchy diet, control obesity and to lead a healthy lifestyle. One should take prompt treatment for allergies, respiratory infections as well as acid reflux.

It is said that the only ‘medicines’ for the voice box are air and water. Deep full breaths and plenty of oral fluids – these ensure smooth function of the vocal cords and clear voice.

Now, comes the most important part, which is avoiding abuse of one’s voice. This consists of the spectrum of misuse, overuse, and abuse. So, the mantra here is “everything in moderation”. One should consciously reduce the duration, intensity, and frequency of one’s speaking. This becomes all the more relevant in the case of the above-mentioned voice professionals, especially teachers. They must learn to continue using their voice in the correct way, thus maintaining both job and voice health.

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