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Vocal Hygiene Program


  • Avoid shouting, yelling, screaming, cheering, and excessive loud noise. Instead use substitute activities: wave your hands, whistle, stomp your feet, or use a noisemaker.
  • Avoid speaking or singing too loudly.
  • Cough or clear throat only when necessary; try to swallow first, hard swallow, or take a sip of water.
  • Rest your voice briefly (3-5 min.) and frequently throughout the course of the day. Avoid long telephone conversations, etc. Rest your voice as you use it. Pace yourself.
  • Avoid tightening your jaw and grinding your teeth. Use a greater gentler mouth opening.
  • Avoid making odd sounds with your voice: environmental noises, imitations, etc.
  • Reduce hard glottal attack when laughing.
  • Make sure you are using an adequate supply of breath; take an easy, relaxed breath before you speak. Breathe 1st.
  • Sit in the middle of the room or be in the middle of the group so that you may be easily heard without talking loudly, and then speak only when the others around you are quiet.
  • Use amplification when appropriate, particularly when speaking to large groups. (www.chattervox.com)
  • Cut back on talking when you have an upper respiratory infection such as a cold or laryngitis.
  • Minimize cell phone use. Avoid use of a speaker phone.
  • Do not smoke or use smokeless tobacco. Stay away from smoky and dusty places. Eliminate alcohol and caffeine.
  • Get enough sleep per night to minimize fatigue effects on the voice.
  • If you are on regular medication, check to make sure it has no undesirable effects, especially dryness.
  • Avoid mentholated cough drops and vitamin C lozenges; substitute sugar-free hard candy, Grether’s Pastilles, or sugar-free gum.
  • Avoid talking around noisy places: machinery, lawnmowers, farm equipment, etc., and speaking when listening to loud music, or when riding a motorcycle, etc.
  • Avoid talking and exercising at the same time; avoid voicing while lifting or exerting pressure.
  • Increase humidity in your home with a humidifier or vaporizer. Consider using a steam inhaler (1-2x’s/day, 10 min.).
  • Increase your intake of water, to prevent dehydration effects on your voice. Sip frequently throughout the day. Use water as you use your voice. Use sips of club soda or sparkling water to refresh throat of phlegm/mucus.
  • Minimize dairy intake, particularly no dairy prior to or during more important voice activities.
  • Avoid whispering, speak softly instead.
  • Anti-Reflux precautions (see handout).

LPV 3/10


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