Could you be damaging your voice?

April 15, 2008 10:30:39 AM PDT
Cheering for the Cubs or Sox and even talking on your cell phone can damage your voice. Dr. Lee Akst, an ear-nose-throat specialist from Loyola University Hospital, shares his steps to prevent and repair the problems. STATS: (SOURCE: American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery)
  • 7-million Americans suffer voice disorders
  • Nearly 3 in 10 people have experienced voice problems
  • 20% of teachers have missed work due to voice problems

SIGNS you may be damaging your voice:

  • If you voice is hoarse frequently or for an extended period of time, you should be evaluated by an otolaryngologist (ear-nose-throat doctor).


  • Drink plenty of water. Moisture helps keep thin secretions flowing to lubricate vocal cords.
  • Try not to scream or yell at ball games or other venues. This can strain the lining of the vocal cords.
  • Don't overuse your voice. Give it a rest, rather than talking on the cell phone all the time.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Use good breath support. Fill your lungs before talking and don't wait until you are almost out of air before taking another breath to power your voice.
  • Use a microphone when giving a speech or presentation.