Hoarseness is an abnormal change in voice that’s medically known as dysphonia. While it’s a common condition that’s often experienced in conjunction with a scratchy or dry throat, patients should take it seriously and seek medical attention immediately. The good news is that you can prevent voice hoarseness by taking several actions, as mentioned below.
1. Stop smoking and avoid second-hand smoke
Breathing in smoke can irritate your vocal cords and larynx, which ultimately dries out your throat. Therefore, you should quit smoking to protect your vocal cords. Alternatively, if you live with someone who smokes, ensure they do it outside or as far away as possible, to minimize the amount of smoke you inhale.
2. Stay hydrated
It may be cliché, but drinking eight cups of water a day goes a long way in preventing hoarseness. Fluids keep your throat moist by thinning the mucus there, preventing dryness and scratchiness. This is why experts recommend drinking excessive fluids when you have a sore throat or the flu.
3. Wash your hands frequently
Typically, a viral respiratory tract infection causes dysphonia, so it’s vital to maintain your hygiene by washing your hands frequently. Washing your hands ensures the germs that cause infection don’t spread, keeping you healthy.
4. Don’t clear your throat
Throat clearing can be tempting as it provides temporary relief when you feel like something’s stuck in your throat. Unfortunately, coughing and clearing your throat often irritates your vocal cords, resulting in inflammation and voice hoarseness. Although challenging, it’s advisable to resist the urge to clear your throat as much as possible.
5. Use your voice appropriately
Most people experience hoarseness after a day of yelling, shouting and abusing their voices. This is because such activities irritate your throat and vocal cords, causing inflammation. If you want to prevent dysphonia, use your voice appropriately.
For example, if you notice your voice is tired and is starting to get hoarse, avoid speaking or singing for a while to give it time to recover. Additionally, avoid using the extremities of your vocal range like whispering or screaming as it stresses your voice.
If you’re sick, rest your voice because illness puts extra stress on your vocal cords. This is why many people experience voice hoarseness when they have a cold or the flu.