Your voice is your way of communicating with the world \u2014 so it\u2019s important to take care of it.\nYour vocal cords are twin folds of a mucus membrane, stretched sideways across your larynx. They vibrate and modulate the flow of air from your lungs to make a sound.\nAbove all, the vocal cords are made of delicate tissue that needs special care to keep your voice healthy, strong, and clear.\nGiving Your Voice a Chance to Rest\nIf your job involves a lot of speaking, take a break each day to give your voice a rest.\nThe same goes for when you have a cold and have \u201clost\u201d your voice. Try not to speak through the hoarseness or you may delay your recovery.\nVocal Volume Matters\nIt\u2019s the day after you\u2019ve attended a concert or sporting event, and you find you can barely speak. Prolonged yelling can cause needless stress on your vocal cords and over time may cause serious damage.\nEven speaking in loud environments \u2014 on a factory floor with clattering machinery, for example \u2014 can lead to unneeded strain and damage.\nYour Lifestyle and Your Vocal Health\nSmoking can significantly affect your vocal health, so it\u2019s a good idea to quit as soon as possible.\nAlso, staying hydrated is essential for voice health.\nDrinking plenty of water keeps the vocal cords moist, supple, and able to do their job. If you speak a lot at work, keep a bottle of water on hand.\nUsing a humidifier at your home or office can be supportive to the voice as well.\nRELATED: Why Is My Voice Hoarse?\nTreating Voice Disorders\nIf you often have a hoarse voice, or you find yourself always coughing or clearing your throat, you should seek medical care.\nSymptoms of vocal disorders include:\n\nTrouble swallowing.\nA low, raspy speaking voice.\nFeeling as though you have a lump in your throat.\n\nYou may have one of the more common vocal problems and may need further assessment and treatment.\nThe UPMC Voice Center uses state-of-the-art technology and conducts cutting-edge research to treat a wide range of voice issues.\nTo learn more:\n\nVisit the UPMC Voice Center website.\nOr, contact the UPMC Voice Center at 412-232-SING (7464).