Vocal hygiene is a major part of treating voice disorders related to misuse and abuse. Some of the more common disorders you might see or hear about are vocal nodules and polyps. After being diagnosed with one of these disorders by an ENT, a speech language pathologist would likely implement a plan of vocal hygiene. Some of the things the speech pathologist might tell you are:
- Drink lots of water.
- Eliminate caffeine, it dries out the vocal folds.
- Stop smoking.
- Make sure you get enough sleep.
- Decrease how often you cough or clear your throat (these can be traumatic events to the vocal cords).
- Vocal rest: make sure you give your voice time to rest after you feel you have been talking for an extended period of time.
- Limit the amount of talking you do.
- Do not talk over noise! Decrease the levels of noise around when you are talking.
- Don’t scream/cry loudly.
These are just some of the tips you could be given after being diagnosed with a voice disorder. Be sure to monitor your/your child’s vocally abusive behaviors to figure out the best intervention plan. Talk with your ENT and speech pathologist to figure out how to best treat the voice disorder!