World Voice Day: Take Action to Maintain Healthy Vocal Habits

By: Kelly Flanigan

Our voices are essential for a number of basic activities of everyday life. We use our voices when communicating with coworkers, speaking on the phone, singing, laughing, crying and screaming.
Even in a contemporary society that is actively engaged with social media, texting and tweeting, first impressions are frequently based upon our voice.  It can portray confidence, uncertainty, friendship, anger and many other sentiments.
The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery has deemed today World Voice Day and encourages people of all ages to assess their vocal health and take action to improve or maintain good vocal habits. Since its inception in 2002, each World Voice Day has a different theme. The theme for this year’s World Voice Day is “Connect With Your Voice.”
“Our goal is to demonstrate the immense value of the voice in our daily life. Some of us have never given our voice much thought, but now it is time to take action to improve or maintain good vocal habits,” said Clark Rosen, M.D., director of the UPMC Voice Center and a professor of otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
An individual’s voice is essential for communication and human wellness. World Voice Day is a time to celebrate the human voice and promote information about voice disorders.
Rita Hersan, a speech-language pathologist and voice clinician at the Voice Center, said most people don’t realize the importance of their voice until a problem arises. The human larynx, or voice box, is constantly exposed to potential injury or irritation, but fortunately following a few simple vocal health guidelines can help to preserve our voices:
  • Never smoke.
  • Keep yourself well hydrated.  Water is best.
  • Don’t scream or shout.  Use a microphone if you need to project your voice.
  • Rest your voice if you have laryngitis.
  • Get evaluated by an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat physician) if you have persistent hoarseness. 

For more information, or to meet with a UPMC Voice Center specialist, call 412-232-SING (7464).