How Do I Take Care of My Voice? Our Best Tips

You don’t have to be a professional singer to worry about your voice. In many cases, long days in a classroom or boardroom can take their toll. 

For example, you start teaching your morning class or leading your morning meeting, but after a full day of work (including some times you may have had to raise your voice), your throat aches. Maybe you’re so hoarse that when you return home, you are barely able to manage a whisper. 

Times like these make you wonder, how do I take care of my voice?

Am I At Risk for Vocal Problems? 

Of course, teachers, CEOs, and singers aren’t the only ones at risk of damaging their voices. You’re much more likely to develop issues if you work in a profession where speaking comprises a large part of your day. This includes occupations such as:

  • Clergy
  • Call center employees
  • Actors/performers
  • Lecturers
  • Group fitness instructors

At Raleigh Capitol Ear, Nose, and Throat, we have the resources to help you take care of your voice and minimize any damage caused by straining and overuse. That’s why we’ve provided our best tips for voice health. If you have further questions, we encourage you to schedule an appointment.

How Do I Take Care of My Voice? Our Best Tips for Vocal Health

Think of your larynx (voice box) just like any other muscle group. When you exercise, you want to be sure these muscles are protected by warming up, stretching, and cooling down. When you don’t, you can experience strains and place you at risk for other injuries. 

Your voice box is the same way. 

Every day, when air passes over the “strings” in the voice box, it produces sound. Multiply that by thousands of times a day, and you can see how it sets the stage for vocal strain.

So to keep you from “losing your voice,” heed our following health tips:

Stay Hydrated

This helps your vocal cords retain elasticity. Remember to drink plenty of water and avoid sports drinks that are high in sugar.

Perform Warm-Up Exercises

As we mentioned earlier, just as you’d warm up muscles before exercise, do the same with your voice. Our certified speech-language pathologists can show you some useful exercises that will help. 

Avoid Whispering

It may sound counterintuitive, but whispering causes more of a strain on your voice than speaking at a regular volume.

Give Your Voice Time to Rest

If your arm was strained, you’d give it a break from your normal activities, wouldn’t you? Do the same for your voice. While you may not be able to rest from normal activities—especially if your career demands excessive talking or singing—try to avoid talking when you can. 

Avoid Habits That Damage Your Voice 

Smoking is not only bad for your health, it’s one of the worst things you can do for your voice. Remember: Vaping is not a “safer” alternative. 

Avoid Screaming or Singing at the Limit of Your Vocal Range

Pushing your voice too hard over a period of time can cause excessive damage. 

Meet With a Vocal Coach

Many mistakenly believe that speech-language pathologists only help those who stutter or who have severe speaking problems. In actuality, they also can serve as resources to help you use your voice efficiently, without straining. 

What Helps Heal Your Voice?

First, it’s important to hydrate. This means drinking more water or even using a humidifier to moisturize the air you breathe.

Second, try to rest your voice. We realize that with some professions, such as teaching, this may be extremely difficult. However, we encourage you to keep talking to a minimum. (And note our earlier precaution about whispering).

Third, avoid caffeine or other substances that can dry out your throat.

Finally, consider speaking with one of our speech therapists. We can work with you to develop strategies that will not only help heal your voice but will also tailor a plan to ensure you can get the most out of your voice without damaging it. 

Do You Need to Seek Help For Vocal Problems? Signs to Watch For

Do you find that you’ve lost some ability to hit high notes (whether as a professional singer or karaoke enthusiast)? Do you constantly have a raspy voice? 

Answering yes to these questions indicates that you need to seek help for vocal problems.

 Other questions you should ask yourself include:

  • Is my throat often itchy and scratchy? 
  • Does your voice sound deeper than normal?
  • Is it more difficult to speak?
  • Do you clear your throat more often than usual?

If this is the case, we urge you to schedule an appointment with our ear, nose, and throat doctors in Raleigh.

Raleigh Capitol ENT Is Here To Help You Protect Your Voice

Speaking is not just vital for effective communication—your profession often depends upon it. While there are some occupations where you use your voice excessively, anyone can benefit from our tips above. 

Seasonal allergies can also take a toll on your voice. That’s why it’s vital to seek treatment and even consider the benefits of immunotherapy (“allergy shots”).

Does your job require you to spend most of your day talking? Have you noticed you’re no longer able to hit the high notes you once did? We encourage you to schedule an appointment with us. Your voice is far too valuable to put at risk, and at Raleigh Capitol ENT, we’ll always listen to what you have to say. Contact us today.


The information in this article and the other articles on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. If you have questions or concerns, please contact your healthcare provider.