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Let’s Take Care Of Our Voice

Definition of voice

Voice is produced by the vibration of the vocal folds which the air from the lungs is coming through the opening and closing of the vocal folds.


Source : Healthwise
Normal vocal cords (Video)

The importance of voice

Voice is important for an individual. We use our voice for :

  • Communication
  • Profession such as teacher, singer, actor/actress, lawyer, salesman.

How voice problems occur?

Vocal folds consist of a thin layer of tissues. These layers of tissues can be injured, inflamed or discomforted as a result of the following factors:

  • Health condition : infection, allergy, cancer, hormone imbalance and medication effects.
  • Environment condition : home/workplace where are noisy, dusty, dry or being exposed to chemicals.
  • Vocal abuse such as extreme shouting, excessive talking and speak loudly.

The impact of prolonged voice problems

Voice problems usually had been noticed by the speaker them self, closed family members and friends. Prolonged voice problems will affect:

  • Social interaction. Patients avoid from talking with others. They feel anxious that other people cannot understand their speech.
  • Work performance. Just imagine that a teacher is having difficulty to teach if he/she had loss of voice. They might not be able to teach. This will lead to decrease of work performance.

Therefore, voice care and voice usage are important to maintain a healthy voice.

Tips of voice care

Here are the tips of voice care:

  1. Health
  • Practice healthy lifestyle. Do exercises, practice healthy diet, get enough rest and manage/control your emotion or stress wisely.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking can cause risk of lungs or larynx cancer. Inflammation or ‘polyps’ (tiny bump) on vocal folds layer can be happened. It can cause hoarseness, husky and weak of voice.

    Source: Electronic cigarette
  • For those who has symptoms of reflux, you should:
    • Make the appointment with the physician/doctor to get advices about your medication
    • Take a meal in a small quantity but you need to eat frequently
    • Avoid taking a meal 3 hours before you go to bed
    • Sit, stand or walk after taking a meal
    • Avoid eating spicy, sour or fatty foods and prevent from taking caffeinated drinks, alcohol and carbonated drinks.
    • Avoid wearing clothes which are too tight at your waist.
  1. Diet

  • Drink plain water at least six to eight glasses every day. It can help in moisturizing and lubricating your vocal folds area. Drink a lot of water if your home/workplace is too dry or dusty.
  • Avoid taking drink that contains of caffeine (such as tea and coffee) alcohol and carbonated drinks. Excessive of taking those drinks can cause dryness to your vocal folds area.
  1. Vocal use

  • Rest your voice. Less talking for a certain time. Less talking during having flu, cough, sore throat and fever.
  • Avoid excessive shouting and speaking loudly. Stop talking and get some rest when you feel your throat is dry or fatigue.
  • Avoid whispering. Whispering can strain your vocal folds. Thus, you should slow down your voice during speaking.
  • Minimize throat clearing and cough loudly. Throat clearing or excessive cough can cause injury to your vocal folds. Drink water or swallow your saliva to minimize the frequency of throat clearing or cough.
  • Use correct breathing technique and posture during talking. Good respiratory flow can help well in voice projection. The best voice projection is during exhalation instead of inhalation.
  • Use microphone during talking in front of a bigger audience or during presentation. The use of microphone can help you to minimize of straining your vocal folds.

References

  1. Fact Sheet: About Your Voice. Diperolehi 5 September 2012 dari http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/aboutVoice.cfm.
  2. Fact Sheet: Keeping your voice healthy. Diperolehi 5 September 2012 dari http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/Keeping-Your-Voice-Healthy.cfm.
  3. Fact Sheet: Tips for healthy voices. Diperolehi 5 September 2012 dari http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/Tips-for-Healthy-Voices.cfm.
  4. Duke Voice Care Centre: Vocal Health Information. Diperolehi 5 September 2012 dari http://www.dukehealth.org/repository/dukehealth/2010/12/22/13/57/10/0598/DVCC%20vocal%20health.pdf.
  5. Gallena S.K. 2007. Voice and Laryngeal Disorders A Problem-Based Clinical Guide with Voice Samples. Mosby Inc.
  6. Rammage L. Morrison M., Nichol H. et al. 2001. Management of the voice and its disorder. Edisi ke-2. Vancouver, Canada, Singular.

Picture references:

  1. Staff, H. (2012). Normal Vocal Cords. Retrieved July 4, 2013, from https://myhealth.alberta.ca/
  2. Tripod (2013). Electronic Cigarette- 15% off Coupon – E- Cigarettes. Retrieved July 4, 2013 from http://electroniccigarettes.tripod.com/
Last Reviewed : 10 October 2016
Writer / Translator : Nurbaiti bt. Mohamad Ali
Accreditor : Nurshahira bt. Razali