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Tips for taking care of the voice

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Voice helps us to communicate, and for some people it is also an instrument of work - artists, professors, journalists, agents...-, however, tend not to take steps to take care of it, and only when we suffer some type of disorder that leaves us literally speechless we realize its importance.
The experts of the Spanish society of Otolaryngology (SEORL), warn that it is increasing the prevalence of diseases that affect the voice, especially among the professionals who use it as a working tool. In fact, in Spain, 5% of the population has some voice disorder that need specialized care, as the Secretary of the SEORL, doctor Miguel Arístegui.
Noise, stress, excess environments with smoke or excessively dry, blowing and coughing frequently, speak more than four hours (or more than two for the singers), not sleep enough, and the consumption of alcohol, are the main risk factors for problems of voice, which can also occur for anatomical disorders of the larynx or dysfunctions between phonatory organs.
The most common disorders that cause voice problems are:
  • CROSSTALKS. They may be due to an anatomical lesion (organic), or to an excessive vocal effort.
  • Nodules. It is a pathology of the vocal cords, which primarily affects women between 20 and 50 years.
  • Vocal polyps. They are the most frequent cause of surgery on the vocal cords, and most of those affected - four in five - are men aged between 30 and 50 years.

Decalogue of tips to take care of the voice

The Spanish society of Otolaryngology (SEORL) and the medical Spanish society of Phoniatrics (SOMEF), offer these ten tips to take care of the voice and prevent the development of diseases that affect the phonatory organs:
  • You do not force the voice and not scream.
  • Avoid noisy places, and don't try to talk over the noise when you're in them.
  • Do not smoke or stay in rooms with smoke.
  • Try to not blowing hard.
  • If you have a cold or allergy, or coughs frequently, consult a specialist to treat these problems properly.
  • If you have hoarseness or loss of voice, you should also consult your doctor, especially if it extends more than ten days.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • He sleeps enough, especially if you need to use the voice in your work.
  • It limits the use of the voice whenever possible. Speak more than four hours at a time, or sing during more than two, affects the vocal cords.
  • If you take medications and any alteration of voice notes, see your doctor.
Source: Spanish society of Otolaryngology (SEORL) and Spanish medical society of Phoniatrics (SOMEF)
Article contributed for educational purposes
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