Spring has sprung: Are you ready to keep your voice healthy?

Welcome to the Hudson Valley – lush, green, beautiful and full of pollen!

Waking up and sounding like a frog is in your throat does not help you experience this beautiful time of year.  So, what can you do to combat voice difficulties?

  1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
  • Drink plenty of water. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in water per day (if you weigh 100 pounds, you should aim for 50 ounces of water a day).
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Skip the extra-large beverages and those $1 any-size variety drinks.
  • Inhale steam. If you don't have severe asthma, this can be very soothing for your throat and sinuses.
  1. Avoid irritants. 
  • Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Choose foods that are not spicy or acidic.
  • If you are spring cleaning, wear a mask to keep the dust away. Using an aerosol nasal saline helps flush away pesky allergens.
  1. Do not shout, holler or scream.
  • Beware of the strain you can put on your voice by talking too loudly.
  • Using the hands-free option in your car to make phone calls or singing along to your favorite song can also stress your vocal cords. 

If you continue to experience difficulties with your voice, such as hoarseness, for more than two weeks after adopting these changes, it's time to visit a healthcare specialist.

An ENT, also known as an ear, nose and throat specialist, can fully evaluate your voice, while a speech pathologist like me can help you find your way back to a healthy voice.

Nahida Unwalla is a speech language pathologist on the campus of Vassar Brothers Medical Center and sees outpatients at 21 Reade Place, Poughkeepsie. To schedule an appointment, call 845-483-7391.