A Few Pointers

The voice is sensitive to many different influences such as climate, environment, diet and lifestyle.
A few simple measures can help keep voice functioning well and deal with minor problems as they arise. If you have persistent symptoms, you should always seek professional advice, from your GP in the first instance, who should refer you to a registered voice clinic where they will look at the larynx, often using a camera, in order to diagnose any problems. The British Voice Association has a list of voice clinics on its web site. Remember, a GP is precisely that and cannot be expected to be a specialist in all health matters.
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The following are basics in vocal hygiene. There are other factors that can affect vocal health but these are a good place to start:

Clear tone

This fundamental of vocal health is commonly overlooked. You should endeavour to speak with clear tone, that is tone without breathiness. A husky voice is one of the first indications that something is wrong. Apart from being very drying, it is also very inefficient voice production as it places a lot of strain on the voice. If you cannot make a tone that is clear and free from breath, you should seek expert advice.

Hydration

a well hydrated larynx is essential for healthy, sustainable voice use. You should endeavour to drink 1.5 L of water a day. Depending on the weather and your level of physical activity, you may need more. Do be careful of overdoing it though – excessive intake of water can be potentially fatal. It can take up to four hours for any water you drink to get into your system and therefore into your voice so make sure that you start early enough and not immediately before you need to use your voice.

Steaming

using an inhaler to breathe in steam is immediate or topical hydration for your vocal folds. Many West End performers have one in their dressing rooms to use before and after a show. You can buy a Dr Nelsons Inhaler, a traditional vocal steamer, from John Bell and Croydon on Wigmore St in London. Their web site is on the links page.

Posture

good posture is another fundamental in healthy voice use. If the spine is out of alignment, so is the larynx and all the muscles that it relies on for support and movement. Its impact on healthy, sustainable voice use cannot be over stated. 


If you have any questions concerning persistent vocal problems and want advice on how you should deal with it, you can contact me for a consultation lesson.