Let’s Explore the 7 Ways to Prevent Vocal Injuries
In Vocal cord disorder, the quality of sound is affected or compromised. This occurs when the vocal cords in the throat vibrate abnormally, causing changes in various vocal parameters such as pitch, or volume. Some of the most common symptoms that indicate vocal cord injuries are hoarseness and inability to sing high notes, breathy voice and weakness or strain in voice
What are the causes of developing voice injuries?
The causes of vocal injuries can be respiratory infections, vocal overuse, psychological trauma, abnormal growth such as vocal cysts, swelling of vocal cords, exposure to hazardous chemicals, smoking, cancer of the larynx, or oral thrush.
How do you know when you have vocal cord disorders?
If you answer "Yes" to one of the following questions, you might have a voice injury:
- Has your voice turned raspy or hoarse?
- Have you lost the ability to reach high notes while singing?
- Does your voice suddenly sound deeper?
- Does your throat often feel raw and strained?
- Do you find yourself repeatedly cleaning your throat?
If you think you have a vocal injury then consult a doctor to determine the underlying cause. A doctor who specializes in a disease or injuries of the ear, nose, and throat, is an otolaryngologist (oh-toe-lar-in-gah-luh-jist) and doctor specifically looking after voice box or larynx is called a laryngologistYou can even refer to speech pathologists. Speech pathologists can help you improve the way you use your voice.
Let’s explore the healthy habits to take care of your voice cords
Usually, people ask how to prevent vocal nodules? Few tips for that are:
- Drink plenty of water, especially when exercising.
- If you drink caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, balance your intake with plenty of water.
- Nap - rest your voice throughout the day.
- Use a humidifier in your home in winter or dry climate.
- Avoid or limit the use of medicines that can dry out the vocal cords, including some cold and allergy medicines. If you have a voice problem, ask your doctor what medicine is the safest for you.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet:
- Do not smoke and avoid smoking. Smoke irritates the vocal cords. Vocal cord cancer is also most common in smokers.
- Avoid eating spicy food. Spicy foods can cause stomach acid to rise up into the throat or esophagus.
- Healthy lifestyle consists of lots of fruits, whole grains and vegetables in your diet. These foods mainly contain vitamins A, E, and C. They also contribute to a healthy throat lining.
- Wash your hands often to prevent colds or flu.
- Enough rest. Physical exhaustion has a negative effect on vocal cords.
- Do exercise regularly. Exercise increases endurance and contributes to good posture as well as breathing, which are necessary for correct speech.
- Avoid mouthwashes that consist of alcohol as well as irritating chemicals.
- Avoid using mouthwash that treats bad breath. Bad breath can be caused by minor problems that cannot be cured with mouthwash. Minor infections such as infections of the nose, sinuses, tonsils, gums, or lungs.
Use your voice wisely:
- Try not to overuse your voice. Avoid talking or singing if your voice is hoarse or tired.
- Rest your voice when you are sick. This disease adds pressure to your voice.
- Avoid using extreme vocal ranges, such as shouting or whispering. Talking too loudly or too softly can strain your voice.
- Practice good breathing techniques while singing or speaking. Usually, singers and speakers are often taught exercises that improve this type of breath control. Speaking out of your throat without holding your breath strains your voice.
- If necessary, consider using a microphone. In relatively static environments such as exhibition areas, classrooms, or practice rooms, lightweight microphones and loudspeaker amplifier systems can be very helpful.
- Must try voice therapy. A speech therapist / Voice therapist with experience can teach you healthy ways to use your voice.
How is the voice disorder diagnosed?
If you experience a change in your voice that lasts for several weeks, your doctor may send you to an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ear, nose, and throat specialist, or ENT). The ENT specialist will ask about your symptoms and how long you have had them. He or she can examine your vocal cords and larynx with certain tests. This can include:
- This allows the doctor to see the throat. In indirect laryngoscopy, the doctor holds a small mirror against your throat and lights it up. Fiber-optic laryngoscopy uses a thin, lighted band called a laryngoscope. The option is to be inserted through the nose into the throat or directly into the throat. A 90 or 70 degree telescope can also be used to examine your vocal cords
- Laryngeal electromyography or EMG. This test measures the electrical activity in the neck muscles. Thin needles are inserted into several neck muscles, while electrodes send signals from the muscles to a computer. This could indicate a nerve problem in the throat.
- This test uses a flash and a video camera to see how your vocal cords vibrate when you speak. This helps in diagnosing disorders of the free vibrating edge of the vocal cord
- Imaging test. CT Scan and MRI are useful in cases of cancer of the vocal cord and help in determining the extent of involvement .