This is a quick guide to vocal health.

        Do you use your voice to make a living? Occupational voice users are individuals who rely heavily on vocal communication to do their jobs.

        Voice problems are characterized by complaints of hoarseness, voice breaks, pains,tension or effort during speech, change in pitch, and vocal weakness. Factors such as extensive voice use combined with noisy speaking environments, poor health, bad posture, inadequate vocal technique and stresses of life that can lead to vocal problems.

    Get the best mileage from your voice by practicing good vocal hygiene.

    Here are some tips to help you put your best voice forward.

  * Don’t cough or clear your throat habitually. Instead, sip some water, swallowing slowly, yawn to relax your throat, or hum,concentrating on resonance sensations.

  * Don’t yell, cheer or scream habitually.

  * Avoid prolonged talking over long distance and outdoors. Move closer to be heard without yelling, or use a vocal amplification system. Learn good projection techniques.

  * Avoid talking in noisy situationdms, over loud music, office equipment, and noisy classrooms, in cars, buses and airplanes by reducing background noise when you speak. Always gacevthe people you are speaking with and position yourself close to them.

  * Don’t try to address large audiences without proper vocal amplification. You should be able to lecture at a comfortable volume. Always use a high a quality vocal amplification system for public speaking and learn good microphone techniques.

  * Don’t vocalize or sing beyond your comfortable range. Know and respect your vocal limits. Seek professional voice training.

  * Avoid vocally abusive nervous habits during public speaking such as throat clearing, speaking quickly, breath holding, speaking on insufficient breath,speaking with a low-pitched fillers like “umms” and “ahhs”.

  * Don’t expose your voice to excessive pollution and dehydrating agents like chemicals fumes, alcohol, caffeine and dry air. Keep the air and your body clean and humid. Drink 8-10 cups of water daily. Don’t smoke.

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