Department of Music
All teachers, singers, actors and others who use their voice in their profession understand the importance of maintaining healthy vocal cords and practicing good vocal health. The voice mechanism is generally quite robust, but it can be damaged from overuse or illness. There are a number of things you can do to protect your long term vocal health -- including avoiding overuse, understanding proper vocal technique for singing and speaking, staying hydrated, and avoiding unhealthy behaviors such as smoking. Here are some sources of good information that can help you maintain a healthy voice.
If you experience persistent hoarseness, sudden changes in your voice, or sustained voice fatigue you should consult with a voice specialist (EMT, laryngologist, or voice clinic) to help you determine the cause. They can help you determine if there is a medical cause for your problem, or help you by providing therapy or coaching to help you use your voice in a more healthy manner. Here are some sources of additional information about vocal health and how your voice works.
Basic Information on Neuromusculoskeletal and Vocal Health (National Association of Schools of Music/Performing Arts Medicine Association)