Voice Blog – Emma

Have you ever had a big day at work or been to a concert where you have nearly or completely lost your voice the day after?

Most often than not, our voice returns, with TLC, hydration and rest.

However, we never quite appreciate how much our voice supports us until we find ourselves without one.

Beyond those who have had too much of a good weekend screaming out to horses at a Darryl Braithwaite concert, voice disorders are a real thing that can affect anyone, any age. Around 7-9% of children and 5-6% of adults have a voice problem.

This can look like:

  • A hoarse, husky, croaky and/or strained voice.
  • A quiet voice that Is too soft to be hear and struggles to be heard over background noise.
  • A voice that sounds higher or lower than those of the same age and gender.
  • Fatigue after talking.
  • Reduced flexibility in alternating pitch and volume.
  • Throat discomfort during or after talking.

Our voice tells a lot about how we’re feeling, our personality and often reflects our physical and emotional health.

Apart from not being able to join in with an Aussie music icon, your voice problem may also inhibit your employment opportunity, social life and access within the community. Even a very minor voice problem can impact a person’s communication and overall quality of life.

Take home tips:

  • Take voice breaks. Your voice is made up of a collection of muscles. You wouldn’t continuously work on just your biceps without rest, treat the voice similarly.
  • Monitor your environment (e.g. having a conversation during a concert is not a good idea… owch).
  • Avoid vocal abuse of yelling, throat clearing and singing out of your comfortable range.
  • Hydration is key!

If you are experiencing a voice problem that is occurring for more than 7 days, ask your doctor to refer you to an ENT and enquire with Eat Speak Learn for an assessment by a speech pathologist to identify and treat the voice problem.

Put your voice to safe use and stop the vocal abuse. Happy phonating!

-Emma Quirk