CO Voice Clinic
The Top Professions At Risk For Vocal Trauma
Updated: Jan 8, 2019
Speaking is a part of our every day lives, but for some, the voice is paramount to your profession. For those of us who rely on our voice for more than the average daily conversation, maintaining vocal health should not be overlooked.
And just like we exercise to keep our bodies fit and healthy, proper diet and exercise is just as important for keeping our vocals healthy. Proper vocal maintenance can help prevent you from losing your voice or a vocal trauma that could sideline you from your job -- which can be a hit to both your career and wallet. Just ask artists like Adele and Sam Smith, who have had to cancel major performances and tour dates to treat vocal traumas.
So who is the most at risk?
We made a list of the top professions at risk for vocal health-related problems and major vocal traumas. So if you fall into one of these categories, make sure you take extra care to watch your diet and practice voice-friendly exercise regimens.
Teachers spend almost the entire day giving lectures, conversing with students and peers, or depending on the age of the students...yelling a bit. Teachers should keep take extra care to keep their voices hydrated, and maintain a diet that is high in antibacterial super foods to help fight germs that are often abundant inside a classroom.
A politician's voice is often their greatest weapon. A vocal trauma on the campaign trail can sideline a candidate and maybe even cost them an election if they are unable to speak. Special care to diet and vocal maintenance are key, however a politician should have an ENT specialist in their speed dial for emergencies and routine check-ups. http://professionalvoiceblog.com/2015/05/06/the-politicians-vocal-diet-5-foods-to-avoid-a-campaign-disaster/
Public speaking can be particularly strenuous because you may be speaking at unnaturally high volumes, or for prolonged periods of time. Vocal rest is key after a speaking engagement, as well as maintaining a healthy diet that not only helps to maintain your pipes, but certain foods may also help calm those nerves. http://professionalvoiceblog.com/2015/03/06/getting-to-the-root-of-ginger-5-reasons-this-superfood-should-be-in-your-diet/
Broadcasters speak for a living - so losing your voice or coming across a vocal trauma can be detrimental to your career. Since a healthy sleep schedule and vocal rest is one of the most important steps to maintaining vocal health, we recommend that broadcasters use any downtime to grab extra z's.
Lawyers have more than just vocal strain to think about when maintaining vocal health. Stress can cause strain on your voice's supporting structures such as the neck and shoulders, which can cause additional stress on the voice. Lawyers often forget to hyrdate throughout the day, and every cup of coffee consumed to burn the midnight oil can also lead to vocal hydration or aggrivate acid reflux. Since omitting coffee may be a deal-breaker for a laywer, compromise by drinking one cup of water for every cup of caffeine. Same goes for alcohol.
With rigorous tour schedules, multiple performances and interviews every week, and late nights in the studio - singers are at an extremely high risk for vocal trauma.
Much like singers, an actor's schedule is extremely hard on the voice and support structures. Long hours and strain on the body can also take a toll. Actors who practice yoga are at an advantage, because the emphasis on stetching and strengthening the neck and shoulders can actually help keep your voice at peak condition. Keep warm liquids steeped with ingredients like ginger or honey to keep your voice hydrated.