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reviewed 5/17/2018

Voice care: True or false?

Inside voice, outside voice—there are so many ways to be heard, but not all of them are good for your voice health. See if you know the facts behind caring for this important aspect of speech with this quiz.

True or false: The best way to care for your voice is to drink water.

True. Staying hydrated is essential for your voice. Water optimizes mucus production in the throat, which lubricates your vocal cords. Try to avoid alcohol or caffeinated beverages—these dehydrate you.

True or false: An upper respiratory infection can cause your voice to change.

True. A cold causes swelling of the vocal cords, resulting in an abnormal voice. Resting your voice may help. If your voice does not return to normal within two to four weeks after a cold, call your doctor.

True or false: Clearing your throat is good for your voice.

False. When your clear your throat, you are basically slamming your vocal cords together. As a result, clearing your throat excessively can injure your vocal cords or cause hoarseness. Try swallowing or taking a sip of water instead.

True or false: Cheering and yelling will make your voice stronger over time.

False. Yelling, cheering or screaming can do damage to your voice. In fact, even naturally raising your voice in loud environments can cause harm. Try to avoid raising your voice as much as possible to help protect it.

True or false: You should use your voice less when you're hoarse.

True. Reduce the use of your voice as much as possible if it is hoarse. Singers and public speakers should exercise extreme caution when their voices are hoarse because permanent and serious damage to vocal cords are more likely to occur when they are already irritated and swollen.

Your voice is an extremely important form of communication. That's why proper care and use of your voice is your best chance for a lifelong healthy voice. If your voice is hoarse a lot, talk to a doctor about possible causes and treatments.

Rein in hoarseness

Source: American Academy of Otolaryngology

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