Here are a few tips to help you keep your vocal cords healthy and working well:
Drink Enough Water
Drinking water is very important in keeping your voice healthy. Water will keep mucous on your vocal cords thin. You should drink at least 48-64 ounces (4-5 bottles) of water per day. You should drink even more if you are an athlete. If you’re thirsty, it’s too late! A good sign that you are drinking enough water is if your urine is pale. Avoid drinks like coffee, soft drinks, and teas that have caffeine. These can make you dehydrated.
Decrease Vocal Abuse/Overuse
Sports or activities that involve a lot of talking, yelling, or singing, can cause you to over-
use your voice. This will cause your vocal cords to be irritated and ‘overworked.’ This
could cause a hoarse voice or a change in your voice. It is important to rest your voice and drink lots of water.
Reduce Coughing/Throat Clearing
Coughing and clearing your throat can be hard on the vocal cords. There are things you
can do to decrease the stress on your vocal cords. Take a sip of water or swallow hard. Breaking a habit of coughing or throat clearing can help to keep your vocal cords healthy.
Monitor Mucous/Post Nasal Drip
If you have a stuffy nose and mucous drips into the back of your throat, this can cause vocal cord irritation. It is important to stay hydrated and to treat any ongoing nasal congestion as needed. Mucos on or near the vocal cords can be caused by allergies or reflux.
If you have reflux (‘heartburn’), stomach acid can come up from your stomach to the
level of your vocal cords. This can cause irritation. Reflux is very acidic. Even if you
don’t feel it, it doesn’t mean that your vocal cords are not affected. There are things that you can do to help lower the acid levels in your stomach including changing your diet and eating habits. Reflux medications may also be helpful.
Consider Your Environment
Allergies or other things in the environment can cause vocal cord irritation. Some examples of things that can affect your vocal cords are smoke, chlorine, dust, dry environments, cold, and heat. Drink water to keep your vocal cords hydrated in these environments.
Know About Your Medications
Antihistamines and decongestants are medicines that dry up mucous from colds and allergies. They will also dry up your vocal cords. Take medicines as prescribed, but continue to drink water to keep your vocal cords hydrated.