We have all experienced problems and issues with our voice and speech, especially when suffering from cold, allergies, bronchitis etc. These voice problems lead to a hoarse voice or an issue when hardly any voice comes out as we try to speak.
In medical terms, voice disorders are those medical conditions in which there is an abnormal pitch, loudness or other issue with the voice. There are many different causes for voice disorders and each may be different from others. But if you wish to prevent suffering from voice disorders, you can follow the following given general tips and suggestions:
- One of the first effective tips to prevent voice disorders is to drink plenty of water. It is important to drink atleast 8-10 glasses of water every day.
- Another important tip to prevent voice disorders is to avoid eating too much of spicy or acidic foods. What happens is that spicy foods can cause stomach acid to move into the throat and may cause some discomfort or irritation.
- One must also avoid carbonated beverages, mints and chocolate.
- One must also limit the intake of alcohol or caffeine on an everyday basis. If these drinks are taken every day, then they must be taken in moderation to avoid the effect of these diuretics which cause the body to lose water. As the body loses fluid, the voice tends to dry out and may cause troubles in speech.
- A person must include a large quantity of vegetables, fruits and whole grains in his/her diet in order to avoid suffering from voice disorders. These foods contain Vitamin E, A and C which help to keep the mucus membranes which line the throat healthy.
- The stomach takes about 3 hours to empty and hence one must not eat or drink atleast 3 hours before going to sleep in the night time.
- Antihistamines and decongestants often tend to cause dryness of the throat and larynx and hence they must be avoided. These medications tend to cause voice disorders if taken on a regular basis and must be limited as much as possible.
- One must limit or totally avoid smoking and second hand smoking as these can cause cancer of the vocal cords which is a serious disease.
- Forceful coughing and throat clearing habits must be avoided as much as possible as in the long term; these too can cause voice disorders and difficulties.
- One must try not to overuse the voice and avoid singing or speaking when the voice is hoarse or when one has cough and cold.
- Using a humidifier at home is a good idea especially in dry climates or during winters because it sucks in humidity which when persistent can cause voice issues or throat itchiness.
- Physical fatigue too has a negative effect on the voice and hence one must make it a point to get enough rest every day.
- Avoid using those types of mouthwashes which contain irritating chemicals or alcohol. For gargling, a much better idea is to use salt water solution.