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Outcome of vocal hygiene in singers

Timmermans, Bernadettea,b; Vanderwegen, Janb; De Bodt, Marc Sb,c

Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery: June 2005 - Volume 13 - Issue 3 - p 138-142
doi: 10.1097/01.moo.0000163351.18015.b6
Speech therapy and rehabilitation

Purpose of review In this article, we illustrate the evolution of studies that contribute to a better understanding of vocal care for professional voice users and singers in particular.

Recent findings Research on vocal hygiene is specific, focusing on concrete solutions. It has commonly been believed that hydration and vocal rest are beneficial; recent research proves this supposition. An exhaustive medical diagnosis and careful therapy is stressed to detect and treat any micro-organic lesions caused by reflux, infection, allergy and environmental circumstances, which can harm a singer's voice. The use of medication is reviewed and side effects are evaluated.

Summary Vocal coaches, speech therapists and otolaryngologists need to focus more specifically on the management of vocal care. Accurate medical diagnosis and specific guidelines for singers must be provided as higher voice demands imply more profound and structured voice care. In the past, vocal hygiene had a negative connotation; a more positive and supporting approach to voice care, with more attention to the singer, is recommended.

aDepartment Rits, Erasmus Institute, Brussels, Belgium, bDepartment of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery and Communication Disorders, Faculty of Medicine, University Hospital Antwerp, UA, Belgium, and cDepartment of Speech and Language Pathology, University of Ghent, Belgium

Correspondience to Bernadette Timmermans, Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery and Communication Disorders, University Hospital Antwerp, UA, Wilrijkstraat, 10 B-2650 Edegem, Belgium

Tel: +32 3 454 3501; e-mail:

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.