Answering questions about voice care, home remedies via live chat


We depend on our voices, but we often take them for granted.

Our voice is our primary mode of interaction and communication, but we often don’t realize just how important it is until there is a problem. Everyone should give their vocal cords special attention, not just singers and actors. If you are hoarse or have lost your voice because of laryngitis, a cold, or overuse, your quality of life is affected.

Unfortunately, not many people fully understand how their vocal cords work, or how to properly care for them. There are plenty of myths out there surrounding the voice:

  • Is whispering as bad for your voice as shouting?
  • What foods and drinks help and hurt your voice?
  • What happens to your vocal cords as they age?
  • What are some home remedies to heal a lost or hoarse voice?
  • Can acid reflux harm my vocal cords?
  • Why do we feel the need to “clear” our throats?

World Voice Day (April 16, 2016) is held annually to celebrate voice science and the vocal arts. We’re hosting a special live chat a few days before to answer your questions about voice care and voice myths on Facebook and Twitter:

  • When: Tuesday, April 12, 2016, from noon to 1 p.m. CDT
  • Where: Facebook and Twitter (use hashtag #worldvoicedaydfw to join the conversation on Twitter)

Also, join us as we warm up our voices for the chat live on Periscope at 11:45 a.m. During this time, we’ll show you how your vocal cords work and demonstrate a few of our favorite vocal warm-up techniques. We’ll announce the live video warm-up on Twitter before the chat – keep an eye out!

Feel free to submit questions during the chat. What do you want to know about your vocal cords and voice care? What myths have you heard about healing a lost or hoarse voice?

Remember, our answers during the chat are purely informational; they are not medical advice. If you are experiencing voice problems, request an appointment here or call 214-645-8300.

Your live chat panel

Lesley Childs, M.D., is the Assistant Professor in Otolaryngology. She provides patient care and also has recorded songs for Walt Disney Records, playing characters such as Mulan and Sleeping Beauty. Dr. Childs sings with the professional choir Vox Humana and the University Park United Methodist Church Choir in Dallas.

Ted Mau, M.D., Ph.D., is the director of the UT Southwestern Clinical Center for Voice Care. Along with treating patients for voice, swallowing and airway disorders, Dr. Mau pushes the frontiers of our understanding of the voice with his research. He describes himself as a choral baritone. 

Janis Deane, M.E.D., CCC-SLP, is the chief of the Division of Speech Pathology. She has more than 30 years of experience working with patients with voice and swallowing disorders, as well as specializing in voice restoration following total laryngectomy. Janis is a classically trained singer as well as an avid instrumentalist.

Amy Hamilton, M.A., CCC-SLP, specializes in assessing and treating voice disorders and has more than 12 years of experience working with the singing voice. Her caseload consists primarily of singers and professional voice users. A classically trained singer, Amy has a degree in music education and received a vocology certification from the University of Iowa’s Vocology Institute.

Laura Toles, M.S., CCC-SLP, has more than six years of experience and specializes in the speaking and singing voice. She is also a classically trained singer. Additionally, Laura’s specialties include swallowing disorders, as well as voice and speech rehabilitation for head and neck cancer patients.

Cory Atkinson, M.A., CCC-SLP, has more than 13 years of experience and specializes in voice, airway, and swallowing disorders. She holds a degree in vocal performance and a certificate in vocology. Cory also rehabilitates voice, speech, and swallowing in head and neck cancer and laryngectomy populations.

We look forward to chatting with you on Twitter and Facebook over the lunch hour on Tuesday, April 12!