Britain’s chart-topping pop soul sensation Adele recently had to cancel her North American tour due to throat hemorrhaging. It’s serious enough that she’s now slated to go under the knife of a laryngeal surgeon. Yikes! Often, throat conditions are found in younger, more amateur singers as a result of strain and fatigue on the throat, and/or lack of formal training, but Adele’s condition shows that voice injury can even strike the pros.

So what could have Adele done differently to protect her Grammy-winning gullet? Well, her smoking addiction certainly doesn’t help. Neither does overuse. But aside from surgery, she shows no sign of slowing down. Hopefully she’ll be more cautious in protecting her voice and following her doctor’s advice moving forward.

Here are a few tips that we’ve compiled to help you protect your most precious instrument – your voice:

1. Drink water. Water is your friend and moisture is good for the voice. Stay hydrated. 2-3 liters a day (about 10-13 cups).

2. Warm up your voice. Even if you don’t have a performance or a rehearsal this is good practice. This tutorial offers some good and succinct tips for a proper voice warm up.

3. Don’t clear your throat. Clearing your throat is like slapping your vocal chords. Take a small sip of water and swallow instead.

4. Don’t smoke. Smoking causes larynx cancer and can cause permanent damage to the tissues of your vocal chords and your lungs. To help ensure you have healthy lungs, follow these tips.

5. Rest a hoarse throat. Listen to your body; if you feel or hear a sore or irritated throat coming on, rest, limit speaking and singing, or practice silence.

If you have a throat condition that continues to worsen, consider seeing your doctor or an Otolaryngologist right away.

What tips do you have for protecting your voice? Let us know in the comments section below.

-Molly King

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