Feb 04, 2014 8:00 AM

Author: Lori Bonham


Winter brings many things, such as dropping temperatures, snow, and the dreaded cold. The reality is there’s an increase of colds during winter, and they can do more than cause sneezing and coughs…they can also affect your voice.

“During a cold, the vocal folds may become irritated and mildly swollen. This may lead to a decrease in vocal quality,” said Katherine Kendall, MD, voice specialist at University of Utah Health.

It’s important when you have a cold to take care of your voice so it doesn’t cause further damage.

Tips to keep your voice healthy with a winter cold include the following:

  1. Rest your voice and don’t talk when it is hoarse.
  2. Drink water to keep your body hydrated while restoring your voice.
  3. Use a humidifier. If a dry environment is the source of vocal irritation, this can help.
  4. Use lozenges or cough drops to dull the discomfort.

If your cold symptoms are gone and you haven’t seen any improvement after two weeks, see a voice disorder specialist.


Lori Bonham

Lori Bonham is a marketing manager with University of Utah Health.

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