To prevent dryness or irritation to your vocal cords:
April 21, 2015
- 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.
- Taking care of your voice. National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/voice/pages/takingcare.aspx. Accessed April 7, 2015.
- Bruch, JM et al. Hoarseness in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 7, 2015.
- Ferri FF. Laryngitis. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2015: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 7, 2015.
- Laryngitis. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/ear_nose_and_throat_disorders/laryngeal_disorders/laryngitis.html?qt=laryngitis&alt=sh. Accessed April 7, 2015.
- Fact sheet: Common problems that can affect your voice. American Academy of Otalaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/content/common-problems-can-affect-your-voice. Accessed April 7, 2015.
- Fact sheet: The voice and aging. American Academy of Otalaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/content/voice-and-aging. Accessed April 7, 2015.
- Kahrilas PJ. Complications of gastroesophageal reflux in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 7, 2015.
- Laryngitis. ExitCare. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier, Inc.; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Apr. 7, 2015.
- Croup. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/respiratory_disorders_in_young_children/croup.html?qt=croup&alt=sh. Accessed April 7, 2015.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 7, 2015.
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