Our voices are the most fragile musical instruments you can imagine. Every day, we use our voices for much more than singing, and our bodies endure conditions and stressors that can deteriorate our voice quality, if we don’t take measures to protect it from harm.
Factors That Can Affect Your Voice
Weather conditions, second-hand smoke, noisy environments, what we eat and drink, coughing, clearing your throat, medications, allergies – the list of things that can directly or indirectly impact your voice is numerous.
You certainly can’t stay in a bubble or prevent exposure to everything that might affect your voice, but the best way to manage these individual hazards is to think of your overall health and take precautions whenever possible to protect your voice.
Protect Your Voice, Water It
The basics for your body’s health also apply to your voice. Water is a singer’s best ally, since it provides natural hydration without taking vital fluid out of your system in digestion. Staying hydrated during hot weather in summer and dry conditions in winter while indoors are especially important. Cool-mist humidifiers can keep the indoor humidity at a comfortable level in winter.
The vocal folds within your larynx are, in effect, small muscles that need to be conditioned and exercised with caution to build their strength without damage. They also need to be well lubricated. Drinking water steadily over the course of every day helps maintain the right density of water in your tissues, including your throat and this tip alone will help to protect your voice dramatically.
Steam is also healthy for the outside of the vocal folds in your throat. Some vocal experts recommend taking a hot shower or using a hot vaporizer for a few minutes twice a day to generate some much-needed moisture for your vocal chords.