winter-22506_1280Regularly use your voice at work?  If your voice tires frequently, or you’re experiencing seasonal laryngitis, here are some tips on keeping your voice in tip-top shape:


  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and smoking (or second hand smoke), which dry out the vocal cords and surrounding tissue.
  • Sip water all day.
  • Keep yourself hydrated.  Eat “wet foods” during the day, such as soups and fruits, and sip water while speaking.
  • Avoid dairy products, oily foods, and mayonnaise during lunch if you will be speaking after lunch.  These make you feel as if you need to clear your throat, which strains your vocal cords.
  • Rest your voice and use it less if you feel that it is starting to sound hoarse.  If your voice feels tired, be quiet and try not to talk for the rest of the day.
  • Avoid cough drops and mints, as they irritate the vocal cords.  Instead, try lemon drops (hard candy) or ice chips.
  • Inhale steam from a tea kettle or while in the shower.  Inhale slowly through your nose.
  • Try a vaporizer at night while you sleep for added humidity during cold winter nights.

If you continue to experience difficulty, seek help early; don’t wait for a chronic pain to develop. A voice evaluation can be a business lifesaver for many.  Speaking techniques and vocal protection techniques can be taught that will conserve the voice and prevent long-term problems with your voice. For more information or to schedule a voice assessment with Ellen Dunnigan, call 317-218-5111, or visit