Voice is the sound made by air passing from your lungs through your larynx, or voice box. In your larynx are your vocal cords, two bands of muscle that vibrate to make sound. Whatever your style of singing and whatever your repertoire, you should take a holistic approach to your practising and performing in order to protect your vocal cords and your voice.
Many things can injure vocal cords. Talking too much, screaming, constantly clearing your throat, or smoking can make you hoarse. They can also lead to problems such as nodules, polyps, and sores on the vocal cords. Other causes of voice disorders include infections, upward movement of stomach acids into the throat, growths due to a virus, cancer, and diseases that paralyze the vocal cords. Find out more about vocal problems.
- A hoarse or raspy voice
- You’ve lost the ability to hit some high notes when singing
- Your voice suddenly sounds deeper
- Your throat often feels raw, achy, or strained
- It’s become an effort to talk
Treatment for voice disorders varies depending on the cause. Most voice problems can be successfully treated when diagnosed early. If you think you may have a medical problem affecting your voice, you should see a doctor. The sooner you address any problems, the less damage you will do in the long term.