The Blaine Block Institute for Voice Analysis & Rehabilitation is observing “World Voice Day,” an international health observance day for the human voice, on April 16, 2011 (observed Friday, April 15, 2011). On this day the public is asked to assess their voice quality and recognize that harmful speaking techniques, alcohol, and tobacco abuse can easily and irrevocably damage the voice. The long-term consequences of poor voice can range from strained vocal cords and chronic hoarseness to deadly head and neck cancers. On this date, complimentary voice screenings including a video image of the larynx (videostroboscopy) will be provided on a limited basis to the public by the Blaine Block Institute for Voice Analysis & Rehabilitation.
The theme for the 2011 celebration of World Voice Day, “We Share a Voice,” calls attention to the important role otolaryngologists play in stemming the tide of vocal disorders.
“Vocal health is critical to our communication-oriented society, but the voice does not receive the public recognition and appreciation it deserves. World Voice Day provides us a perfect forum through which to refamiliarize ourselves with the latest advances in laryngology and voice care, and to educate our colleagues, patients, and communities via lectures, free voice screenings, community outreach programs, and other offerings,” says Blaine Block Director, Wendy D. LeBorgne, Ph.D., CCC-SLP.
World Voice Day gives vocal health experts an opportunity to bring renewed awareness about vocal health to the general public and to professionals who have built careers around their voices.
As The Blaine Block Institute for Voice Analysis & Rehabilitation celebrates the ninth year of the World Voice Day observance, we offer the community a few simple health tips to take care of your voice:
- Keep yourself hydrated – Moisture is good for your voice, and drinking plenty of water throughout the day is the best way to stay hydrated.
- Don’t smoke – Likely the single worst thing you can do for your voice is to smoke. It causes permanent damage to the vocal cord tissues and is the number 1 risk factor for cancer of the larynx (voice box).
- Don’t scream or shout. Use a microphone if you need to project your voice – Yelling or screaming is always bad for the voice, as it puts a lot of stress on the delicate lining of your vocal cords.
- Rest your voice if you have laryngitis.
- Get evaluated by an Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat physician) if you have persistent hoarseness – If your voice is persistently hoarse, be sure to seek evaluation by an otolaryngologist.
- Warm up your voice – Warming up the voice is not just for singers; it helps the speaking voice, too. Doing simple things like lip or tongue trills, or gliding up and down your range on different vowels will help warm up your voice.
- Know what you’re feeling – When you are in a place with loud background noise, you don’t realize how loudly you may be talking. Pay attention to how your throat feels in these situations, because it will often feel raw or irritated before you notice the vocal strain you are causing.
To learn more about World Voice Day, vocal health, and other ear, nose, and throat related topics, visit www.bbivar.com or http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/worldVoiceDay.cfm. To schedule a free voice screening on Aril 15th, contact voice pathologist, Jennifer Rettig, M.S., CCC-SLP, at (937) 496-2622.