To prevent dryness or irritation to your vocal cords:

  • Don't smoke, and avoid secondhand smoke. Smoke dries your throat and irritates your vocal cords.
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine. These cause you to lose total body water.
  • Drink plenty of water. Fluids help keep the mucus in your throat thin and easy to clear.
  • Avoid eating spicy foods. Spicy foods can cause stomach acid to move into the throat or esophagus, causing heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • Include whole grains, fruits and vegetables in your diet. These foods contain vitamins A, E and C, and help keep the mucus membranes that line the throat healthy.
  • Avoid clearing your throat. This does more harm than good, because it causes an abnormal vibration of your vocal cords and can increase swelling. Clearing your throat also causes your throat to secrete more mucus and feel more irritated, making you want to clear your throat again.
  • Avoid upper respiratory infections. Wash your hands often, and avoid contact with people who have upper respiratory infections such as colds.
April 21, 2015

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