Your voice is a very vital part of your life, and you need to take proper care of it. Life cannot be imagined without voice, that is without, speech or spoken language. It is your responsibility to preserve your God-gifted natural voice, and to take every preventive measure possible to avoid voice disorders. Prevention is always better than cure, as not all voice disorders can be treated.
People with voice disorders willing for Voice Therapy should consult a certified Speech Language Pathologist at a recognised clinic dealing with voice disorder therapy in Kolkata. While some voice problems are temporary, and usually go away with time, others may be permanent and might even lead to dangerous consequences. Voice disorders vary according to their cause and type, like vocal fold paralysis, vocal fold nodules or polyps, paradoxical vocal fold movement (PVFM), spasmodic dysphonia, and others. Fortunately, most of the voice disorders are preventable, and one should not neglect the following preventive tips that are recommended by vocal health professionals at good centres of voice disorder therapy in Kolkata.
- Avoid voice misuse and overuse – This means that you should avoid shouting excessively and for prolonged periods of time. Speak in a low volume, without hurting or over-exercising your voice. Also, avoid noisy areas as far as possible, as you may be required to talk in a much higher volume. If you really need to talk to a noisy crowd, use a microphone to amplify your voice. Vocal health professionals at good clinics dealing with voice disorder therapy in Kolkata, recommend people to avoid shouting frequently, as it may strain the vocal cords, which may result in voice disorders.
- Drink plenty of fluids – Drink about 10-12 glasses, that is, about 3 litres of water everyday to prevent dehydration. Also, have healthy drinks such as fruit juices, milk shakes and soups. Studies show that most voice disorders occur due to dehydration. Voice Therapists at renowned centres dealing with voice disorder therapy in Kolkata say that dehydration results in drying out of the throat and causes various voice disorders like hoarseness, laryngitis and muscle constriction (tightening of vocal muscles).
- Avoid alcohol – Too much alcohol intake can cause dehydration in the throat, as the body loses water.
- Avoid smoking – Speech Language Pathologists at good clinics for voice disorder therapy in Kolkata strictly recommend people to avoid smoking. Both first hand and second hand smoking or passive smoking affect your voice equally. Studies show that smoking causes cancer in the vocal cords or the throat, which may result in serious voice disorders that might not always be recoverable.
- Use humidifier – It is recommended by vocal health care professionals at recognised clinics for voice disorder therapy in Kolkata to keep the home and office environments as warm and humid as possible, at least about 30%. Using humidifiers is a good habit, as staying in a humid atmosphere keeps most voice problems at bay. This is very important particularly in the winter season and dry climatic situations.
- Avoid local mouthwash or gargles – Some mouthwash products contain harmful chemicals or even alcohol that may cause dehydration of the throat and the vocal folds. This may cause irritation in the throat and other voice disorders like hoarseness.
- Follow good breathing techniques and other vocal exercises – Highly trained Speech Language Pathologists at clinics offering professional services at voice disorder therapy in Kolkata recommend people to follow regular vocal exercises and proper breathing techniques to prevent voice disorders. These techniques and exercises include taking deep breaths from the diaphragm while singing or speaking to a large group of people, and the like. This prevents the voice from getting over-strained due to continuous speaking or singing, and helps to prevent voice disorders. Some voice exercises are recommended to improve endurance and power of the vocal cords.
- Follow a balanced diet – Recognised centres dealing with voice disorder therapy in Kolkata and health professionals there strictly advice people to follow a healthy and balanced diet to fight against a majority of voice disorders. Also, avoid sugar- laden foods as they may lead to chronic fatigue. You should also avoid foods that contain caffeine, such as coffee, hot chocolate, certain ice-creams and soft drinks. Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause muscle constriction in the vocal regions, and also results in dehydration. Avoid these food items as far as possible, especially if you are a singer. Iced drinks also cause muscle constriction in the vocal cords and the throat.
- Avoid consuming spicy foods frequently – Trained vocal health care professionals at good centres dealing with voice disorder therapy in Kolkata also recommend avoiding spicy foods. Spicy foods not only cause dehydration, but may also cause stomach acids to travel up to the throat – commonly known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This may result in a variety of symptoms and complications in the voice order of the concerned person, causing in voice disorders like hoarseness, throat pain, having the sensation of lumps in the throat, and sometimes even swallowing disorders, commonly known as Dysphagia.
- Hold the phone properly – Health professionals at good clinics for voice disorder therapy in Kolkata recommend people to avoid cradling or balancing of the phone between the head and the shoulder while speaking for prolonged periods of time, so as to keep the hands free. This results in straining of the muscles in and around the neck area, which may cause serious voice disorders.
In conclusion, it can be said that good vocal hygiene not only preserves the overall vocal structure, but prevents most of the severe voice disorders as well. Speech Language Pathologists at centers giving professional services in voice disorder therapy in Kolkata will definitely guide you in taking preventive measures, but at the end of the day it is solely your responsibility to take proper care of your vocal health.