Your voice is a gift that allows you to express yourself while also being heard. It allows you to express yourself more clearly to effectively convey your emotions. Most of all, your voice makes up a huge part of  your identity.

Voice makes communication easier. Many people can see and recognize people’s intellects and great minds when they speak up and share their thoughts.

Speaking is an essential skill for everyone, so it's important to maintain voice health

Great statesmen, orators, salesmen, teachers, lawyers, artists, singers, and even ordinary folks use their voices to successfully practice their professions or cope up with the day to day demands of living.

If you are someone who enjoys expressing yourself to others, your voice is probably the most important to you. Imagine being that kind of person and going through a day without being able to use your voice. Spending A day like that would most likely be the most agonizing and difficult.

With that in mind, among the other important things that we must prioritize, we must always remember to protect our voice.

Keep reading as we will reveal more on the importance of our voice and the 12 simple ways to keep voice healthy that you should follow.

Your voice matters to effectively connect to different people

We can cover a wide range of topics when we talk about anything related to our health. We can talk about your eyes, ears, organs, and even your skin’s health, but what about your voice?

People often talk about health but overlook the importance of maintaining our voices’ health.  And people are only reminded of it whenever they get sick and are temporarily unable to use it.

So why does it matter to maintain our voice’s health?

As each of us knows, losing our voice even for just a day is extremely difficult. From just simply expressing your thoughts to sharing valuable information – everything related to communication seemed difficult. If things are already difficult at this point, you probably cannot bear to imagine permanently losing it. 

Essentially, the main purpose of our voice is for us to communicate and be able to express our emotions. Our voice helps in projecting our personality to everyone. This enables them to gain a better understanding of our personalities.

So, if you feel like you are neglecting the health of your voice, it is not too late to do something about it. Keep reading to learn more vocal health tips and how to keep your voice healthy.

Understanding where voice comes from and how it is produced

Before you go down to the next section of this article, it is important for you to understand how our voices were produced. Knowing how your voice is produced allows you to better understand how to properly care for it.

Let’s start.

Your voice comes from two vocal cords, also called vocal folds, in your voice box. You need to maintain the health of these organs to keep the quality of your voice. 

To start, the voice that we produced depends on two factors: vibration and resonance. 

Our vocal cords are directly attached from the larynx and thyroid cartilage. When these vocal cords come together it will then create a sound. This will then cause a vibration whenever exhaled air passes through from our lungs. 

our voice comes from the vibration made by our vocal cords

As this cycle repeats, it will then produce what we call a sound. It only becomes the “voice” that we know as it is amplified by the vocal tract resonators. Our vocal tract resonators include the throat, mouth cavity and the nasal passages. 

Keep in mind that in order for the voice to be clear, the vocal cord must vibrate in a symmetrical and repetitive way. This is due to the rate of vibration which also plays a role in the pitch of our voice.

Losing voice may indicate several health-related issues

It is impossible for us to spend our day not being able to use our voice, we use it most of the time. Given that, it is not rare that we experience hoarseness, raspy or even a tired voice. 

The thing is, we always thought that losing our voice was just a minor inconvenience which will go away eventually. We use it frequently, and it is natural to think that drinking water, cough syrup, or any medicine will get rid of it.

However, people should be aware that losing their voice could be the result of a different and a likely alarming health issue.

According to Cleveland Clinic, losing voice is not a condition nor an illness in itself. Rather it is a symptom which may indicate the development of various diseases.

Here are some of the diseases losing voice may imply:

  • Laryngitis

The inflammation or irritation of your larynx is a condition known as laryngitis. 

In this condition, the vocal cords swell making it difficult for it to close and open smoothly. It also makes it difficult for the air to pass. Thus, this causes hoarseness or worse losing the voice. 

With proper treatment, laryngitis may last for about one to three weeks. If the symptoms continue to persist, make sure to seek a health professional.

  • Functional Dysphonia

Functional dysphonia is a condition that often develops among women in the age of 40 above. The condition is often the result of the closure of the vocal cords or the overuse of the laryngeal muscles. The functional vocal disability affects the voice quality of a person.

Oftentimes, the condition is linked to viral infections and stress factors. People with functional dysphonia often experience hoarseness, breathiness, voice instability and fatigue. 

  • Nodules, polyps and cysts on vocal cords

Nodules, polyps and cysts often develop due to the abuse, misuse and overuse of vocal chords. Although we often use them, some people tend to strain them due to phonotrauma. Developing lesions in the vocal cords has a significant impact on the cords’ ability to vibrate properly.

  • Leukoplakia

Leukoplakia is a condition where a person has thick, white patches and spots that can be seen on the surface of their mouth. There are several factors that cause the condition to develop such as smoking, alcohol and chewing of tobacco. The disease often occurs to men from ages 50 to 70

In some cases, it is commonly associated by irritation, infection, or worse, mouth cancer symptoms in its early stages.

Want to have a healthy voice? Here are 12 tips you should follow

Having a horse, rough or strained voice, and being unable to speak is one of the most frustrating situations, especially for those who enjoy singing and public speaking. But maintaining vocal health is not only limited to people who need it for their profession. 

our voice is important for us to socialize

In fact, you should also never take it for granted and take various measures to keep it healthy. We interact and meet with different people everyday. And we are certain that you do not want to strain your voice, especially if you have a very important occasion to attend. 

Although it is unavoidable for these situations to happen, there are many ways for you to keep it healthy. How are you going to do it? It’s simple and we have listed all of them for you.

Here are some of the simple ways to keep your voice “healthy.”

1. Drink sufficient amounts of water everyday.

Water is important to keep your vocal chords moist and to keep up with the throat’s natural mucus production.  Drinking two liters or six to eight glasses a day would be sufficient to sustain the body’s hydration needs and support vocal health.

But you need to take note that if you are a frequent coffee or alcoholic drinks drinker, you should drink more water because caffeine and alcohol can speed up the loss of water from your body.

If you are also engaged in regular physical activities, you should drink more water to re-hydrate and compensate for the fluids that you lost during the exercise.  You may not know it, but dehydration can affect your voice.

2. Maintain use of good breath support during speaking or singing.

Having great breath support is one of the cornerstones of maintaining your vocal health. It is not only important for a professional singer, it also matters for you. 

Breath support is basically about stabilizing the air flow in our body. Simply put, it refers to the regulation and control of our breathing when we use our vocal cords.  

What makes vocal cords even more important is that it can help improve our everyday activities. It is not limited to singing and talking, but also includes eating, working out, and even sleeping.

Moreover, breath support also offers benefits to better regulate your stress. In a study, it shows that being able to control your breath is associated with easing stress and other related conditions. 

You can control and manage your breathing by participating in activities such as yoga and meditation.

3. Maintain good posture.

One of the many reasons why professional singers or theater performers are able to project their voice clearly is because of their posture. So if you are the type of person to often slouch, it is now time to straighten your back.  

Good posture helps to give you an easy, confident voice when you speak. In fact, your posture plays an important role for you to properly have good breathing support. 

One the other hand, improper posture can strain your vocal chords; it can result in a sloppy voice.

Poor posture, for example, may reduce the breathing support for your voice as well as the opening of your vocal tract. This will put strain on your voice as it will force the muscles and organs involved in voice production to use more effort. As a result, it may cause fatigue and dysphonia.

4. Practice deep breathing.

Proper posture, good breath support, breath control and deep breathing are all closely linked to having a healthy voice. It actually on of the proper vocal technique to keep your voice healthy.

Deep breathing or diaphragmatic breathing is a type of breathing where a person takes long breaths and contracts diaphragm. As we all know, confident speaking needs an adequate supply of air in the lungs. Deep breathing involves the natural flow of air into your lungs and squeezing them all out in perfect rhythm.

Deep breathing significantly improves our stamina and improve vocal health

In addition, it allows a person to better control their vocal cords and their voice itself. As most people take quick, short breaths this causes them to limit their energy to a minimum which reduces their stamina. The more a person gets tired; the more it may strain the vocal cords. 

Other than keeping your voice healthy, deep breathing is also associated with relieving stress and anxiousness. This makes it an excellent technique to practice and addition to your routine due to its benefit. Doing regular breathing exercises for at least twice a day significantly helps ease stress. 

5. Speak naturally.

Whether you have an in-person or virtual event to attend to, it is important for you to speak naturally. 

According to a report from Science Daily, some people have the tendency to switch the pitch of their voice depending on the person they are talking to. But what most people do not realize is that changing their pitch could put strain on their voice. 

Your vocal chords can also do so much and straining it further could lead to hoarseness. Although it can be easily treated, continuously abusing your voice could lead to a much worse condition. 

To keep yourself away from these conditions, try to avoid speaking too high or too low as this can cause a strain in your voice box and affect your voice.  No matter who you are talking to make sure to speak naturally and clearly as this will help keep you vocal cords healthy.

Keep in mind that in communication, your tone will not matter to anyone. It is still the way how the message is being delivered and being absorbed by the listener. 

6. Avoid prolonged talking

 A lot of people enjoy speaking. Sharing how our day —whether it is good or bad with friend and loved ones— makes our everyday enjoyable.  It is even a helpful way for some people to relieve their stress.

Despite this, people should still be conscious of their voice when they talk. Speaking and talking is enjoyable, but too much of it can be harmful to your vocal box.

With that in mind, it is important for you to avoid talking unnecessarily.  Excessive talking can strain your vocal chords and damage your voice.  It is one of the most common causes of voice problems of radio announcers and talk show hosts.

Sometimes, giving your voice a break isn’t that bad. In fact, stopping to talk gives you the opportunity to think better and digest the conversation you are having with someone.

7. Don’t shout, yell or scream.

Do you ever feel like you’re having difficulty talking after attending an intense sports competition? Watching it is fun but continuously screaming and shouting can put pressure on your vocal cords. Even in loud environments people will have the tendency to speak loudly to be heard.

refrain from shouting to avoid straining your vocal cords

Shouting, yelling or screaming are one of the factors that causes strain to our voice. Voice abuse or overuse of your vocal cords can strain your vocal chords and damage your voice leading to hoarse voice.  

According to CEENTA, a “collision” happens to our vocal cords as it vibrates whenever we scream. This applies force to it and increases compression on the vocal cords, causing damage to our speaking voice. If you experience pain after shouting, it simply indicates that there is damaged tissue on your vocal fold.

8. Avoid clearing your throat too often.

A lot of people tend to clear their throat unconsciously most of the time. Some people believe that throat clearing helps them have a better speaking voice, but it can actually harm a person’s voice. 

Throat clearing is induced by a feeling of mucus that is produced in the throat. In a report from UT Health San Antonio, throat clearing does not actually clear the mucus away. It only puts your vocal cords to a more build up tension and causes further harm. 

With that in mind, frequent clearing of the throat can actually irritate your vocal chords. People should avoid frequent throat clearing as it may even cause trauma to the vocal fold. Moreover, some people often clear their throat and may experience swelling to their vocal cords. 

9. Treat cough as soon as it infects you. 

One of the most common mistakes people make when caring for their voice is failing to treat illnesses and diseases that are directly related to it. 

The damage of coughing to your voice is very similar to the effects of throat clearing. It can cause irritation and trauma in your vocal cords making it difficult for you to speak.

People should not expect coughing to go away after a few weeks. Allowing it to continue can cause the passage of air to become more sensitive, complicating the irritation.

When you start to experience coughing or any cold-like symptoms, make sure to take cough syrups, natural throat products and other remedies. If it persists, immediately visit a doctor or a throat specialist to provide you a professional advice.

10. Quit smoking.

If there is one habit that you should stop doing, it is smoking. Everyone knows the effects of smoking. It can strain vocal cords, cause even cause you various vocal problems or worse you may even lose your voice.

Smoking can cause swelling of your vocal chords and it can adversely affect the quality of your voice.  This bad habit does not only do damage to your voice but your entire body. So if you are a singer or a radio broadcaster, you should avoid smoking to protect your throat, your voice, and your lungs.

11. Avoid spicy foods and late night meals.

Spicy foods and late night meals trigger acidity in your stomach and it can lead to acid reflux which can negatively affect your vocal chords.

Your voice is one of the most important things you need in order to be understood.  You should take care of it.  Keeping a healthy voice is part of maintaining your overall health.

The voice can be a useful asset in the personal or professional context. When speaking to colleagues you have to have an incredibly clear voice.

Although many factors that affect vocal performance like age or genetics can affect vocal performance too, it may also play a significant role.

12. Have enough quality sleep

If your line of work requires you to constantly use your voice, you will almost certainly be reminded to take a break. It is no excuse to have a strained vocal cords as this will affect their career and daily life.

For example, vocal naps are critical for performers to protect their singing voice. A healthy singing voice is essential for many performers because it is their most valuable asset. If they are not about to maintain their singing voice healthy they will not be able to do what their profession is.

sleep quality affects the health of your voice

Remember that a good vocal health often begins with knowing when to rest to avoid early warning signs of any condition that may harm it. So if you had a long day using your voice give it time to recover.

There you go, here are the 12 tips that you should keep in mind to keep your voice healthy. Now that you know how to properly care for your voice, make sure to confidently use you voice not just to be heard but also inspire many people.

For more natural health tips, explore our blog posts on mind boosters and vitamins to keep your voice and overall health in good shape.