00:03:26 – Reading time. Vocal Cords are the tissues in your throat that are responsible for creating sounds. They involved a 3-step process where the air is passed through the vocal cords, which causes air to move out of the lungs to the vocal cords, thus, creating a vibration in the vocal cords that produce sounds. (1) However, sometimes you may experience hoarseness, which is the condition of having a weak, raspy, or restrained voice. It usually happens after a night out at a club, a concert, yelling for too long, singing non-stop, chanting for your favorite sport’s team, or after a cold. You may even be experiencing hoarseness more frequently if your job requires a lot of vocal communication, such as customer service, teaching, or singing. If you’ve been experiencing hoarseness for over two weeks, then you might need to visit a Laryngologist, as it could be a warning symptom of a more significant cause, such as cancer of the larynx (voice box).
What damages Vocal Cords?
The most common is perhaps upper respiratory infections that happen during the common cold or flu. The condition is called Laryngitis. Sometimes, you may have eaten something that triggered your stomach acid to go up to your throat and cause friction to the larynx, which is called acid reflux. If you’ve yelled, sand, or shouted for an extended duration in a short period, it may also damage it. Suffering from Cancer of the Larynx is a direct way that damages Vocal Cords as well. Even Psychological Trauma can sometimes inflict harm on Vocal Cords. Sometimes you can also damage your vocal cords by smoking. Smoking not only increases your risk for developing Larynx Cancer, but it also causes other types of cancers, such as Lung Cancer, that can also damage your Vocal Cords. Smoking dries out the larynx, along with many different foods and drinks, such as alcohol and caffeine (also called Diuretics). Diuretics cause dehydration.
5 Simple Tips for Improving Vocal Cords
1. Stay Hydrated to improve vocal cords
It’s no wonder that staying hydrated is crucial to improving your vocal cords; after all, human bodies are roughly 70% made up of water. Anything that soothes your throat works, such as herbal teas that are not too hot. Drink 6-8 cups of water a day. And aim to drink water throughout the day if your job requires a lot of speaking. Although quite rare, watch out for Water Intoxication, which is fatal and involves drinking excessive amounts of water.
2. Use a humidifier to improve vocal cords
If it’s currently winter where you live, or if the weather is dry, then having a humidifier may be necessary. Dry air is heavy on your breathing and vocal cords. Humidifiers can also benefit you in other ways, such as treating dryness of the skin, throat, lips, and nose.
3. Monitor your voice
It’s essential to allow some breathing space when you talk so that it can rest in between. Be cautious about speaking into a large crowd. Long term screaming and yelling may rupture your vocal cords. Consider using a microphone when appropriate.
4. Attend Voice Therapy
If improving them is a priority for you, why not visit a speech-language pathologist, so they can recommend ways to utilize your voice more efficiently. They’ve experienced people from different industries such as singers, lawyers, and voice-overs whose vocal cords are frequently under pressure to perform.
5. Use PEMF
PEMF stands for Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Frequency, a non-invasive technology that uses scientifically validated frequencies to stimulate your cell’s natural healing process. A study published in 2019 found that patients exposed to twelve PEMF sessions, twice weekly, had better night sleep, increased energy, enhanced clarity, and most importantly, relaxed vocal cords. (2) Thus, PEMF may be an exciting option to explore for improving.
Voice is an integral part of our lives. Avoiding talking is impossible. Thus it’s essential to take proper care of your it and use the 5 simple tips we discussed to manage or improve your vocal cords.
(1). THE VOICE FOUNDATION. (2013). Understanding Voice Production. [online] Available at: https://voicefoundation.org/health-science/voice-disorders/anatomy-physiology-of-voice-production/understanding-voice-production/ [Accessed 22 Oct. 2020].
(2). Borges B, Hosek R and Esposito S (2019). Effects of PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field) stimulation on chronic pain and anxiety utilizing decreased treatment frequency and duration application. Front. Neurol. Conference Abstract: International Symposium on Clinical Neuroscience. doi: 10.3389/conf.fneur.2019.62.00007