Chief Medical Director at SANESolution | Website

Dr. Matthew Olesiak continues to make a significant impact in the medical field through his work at SANESolution and his dedication to evidence-based practices.

Exercises for a Clear Throat

For many people, having a clear and healthy voice is essential for everyday communication, work, and personal expression. But what can you do when throat clearing becomes a persistent issue, affecting the quality of your voice and overall vocal health?

Fortunately, there are exercises for a clear throat and tips that can help protect and improve your voice, allowing you to speak and sing with clarity and confidence.

Secret exercises for a clear throat to boot:

Let’s jump into this Throat Cleaner world of throat specialists and vocal throat health and discover how to maintain and enhance your voice by understanding throat clearing, practicing effective exercises, and adopting healthy habits. If you want to learn even more about your throat’s health then check out 6 Lifestyle Tips for Throat Health: How to Keep Your Voice Healthy and Reducing Throat Allergens for Throat Health guides!

Short Summary

  • Understand the causes and effects of frequent throat clearing to protect vocal health.
  • Exercises such as humming, diaphragmatic breathing, and swallowing exercises can help clear the throat.
  • Maintain vocal health by staying hydrated, making healthy diet/lifestyle choices & practicing correct speaking/singing techniques. Seek professional help when needed.

Understanding Throat Clearing and Vocal Health

The vocal cords, also known as vocal folds, are pivotal in voice production. They are housed within the voice box and vibrate to produce sounds, allowing us to communicate effectively. However, when we frequently clear our throats, the vocal cords can become irritated, leading to potential vocal damage. Understanding the causes and effects of frequent throat clearing is essential in preserving our vocal health.

Common causes of throat clearing include:

  • Colds
  • Allergies
  • Smoking
  • Vocal misuse

Excessive throat clearing can result in hoarseness, swelling of the vocal cords, and even constriction, further exacerbating the issue.

To ensure vocal health, it is crucial to practice proper speaking and singing techniques, stay hydrated, and maintain a balanced diet.

An image of a senior woman with the common cold blowing her nose

Causes of frequent throat clearing

Irritation of the mucous membranes, allergies, uncontrolled constriction, and vocal misuse or overuse can all contribute to the need for frequent throat clearing. Addressing these underlying causes is vital, as recurrent throat clearing can be a sign of vocal cord strain and may negatively affect your vocal range and tone.

To maintain vocal health and ensure vocal longevity, it is essential to practice regular vocal warm-ups and cool-downs, as well as vocal rest and recovery. If you experience warning signs such as voice problems, hoarseness, vocal fatigue, or difficulty speaking, it is advisable to seek professional help from a voice therapist or speech-language pathologist.

Effects of excessive throat clearing

Excessive throat clearing can set off a chain of events that lead to increased mucus production, drying of the mucus membranes, and strain on the vocal cords. These factors can contribute to the development of vocal disorders, making it crucial to address any underlying voice issues that may cause excessive throat clearing.

Uncontrolled constriction can put a strain on the vocal cords, potentially leading to hoarseness, vocal damage, and further constriction. Practicing larynx-closing exercises, as prescribed by a speech-language pathologist, can help facilitate laryngeal closure and swallowing, improving overall throat function and reducing the need for throat clearing.

Exercises for a Clear Throat

While understanding the causes and effects of throat clearing is essential, it is also important to practice exercises that can help clear your throat and improve vocal function. Some beneficial exercises that can aid in protecting and enhancing the voice include humming, diaphragmatic breathing, and swallowing exercises.

Let’s explore these exercises in detail to understand better how they can contribute to a clear throat and improved vocal health.

Humming and buzzing exercises

Humming and buzzing exercises are vocal warm-ups that cause minimal strain on the vocal cords, making them ideal for maintaining vocal health. These exercises can help clear the throat and strengthen the vocal cords while also enhancing vocal range and control.

To perform humming and buzzing exercises, follow these steps:

  1. Begin by humming a low note and gradually increasing the pitch.
  2. Transition to buzzing by producing a “zzz” sound and slowly increasing the pitch.
  3. Repeat this process multiple times.

While performing these exercises, ensure that your mouth remains relaxed and your jaw is loose. Take breaks for deep breaths as necessary, and avoid straining your voice.

A drawing of a woman practicing vocal exercises while musical notes come out of her mouth

Diaphragmatic breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing is a relaxation technique that involves inhaling slowly through the nose and exhaling through the mouth, using the diaphragm and abdominal muscles. This technique is beneficial to professional singers because it improves breathing and strengthens the diaphragm muscle, supporting the voice. Practicing diaphragmatic breathing exercises a few times daily for 5-10 minutes can reinforce the diaphragm, vocal cords, and voice.

To correctly perform diaphragmatic breathing, follow these steps:

  1. Sit with an upright posture and a relaxed upper body.
  2. Place one hand on your upper chest and the other below the rib cage.
  3. Inhale through your nose so that your stomach expands and pushes against your hand.
  4. Exhale through pursed lips, engaging your stomach muscles to expel the breath.

Swallowing exercises

Swallowing exercises can improve throat function and minimize the need for throat clearing. To ensure the best possible results, it is essential to collaborate with all members of your healthcare team, including a speech-language pathologist, to treat your condition appropriately. Keeping a record of your swallowing exercises can provide valuable feedback to your speech-language pathologist regarding your progress.

Larynx-closing exercises, for example, are designed to facilitate the passage of food through the pharynx and into the esophagus.

An image of a bag full of healthy foods including bananas greens and bell peppers

Tips for Maintaining Vocal Health

Now that we’ve explored various exercises for a clear throat let’s discuss additional tips for maintaining vocal health. Staying hydrated, making healthy diet and lifestyle choices, and using proper speaking and singing techniques can all contribute to a healthy voice and reduced throat clearing.

Let’s dive deeper into these tips to understand their significance in maintaining optimal vocal health.


Hydration is essential for vocal health, as it facilitates smooth and effortless vocal fold vibration, lowers the Phonation Threshold Pressure (PTP), and ensures the cells in the larynx remain nourished and resilient. Staying hydrated by drinking water is the simplest way to produce thin, watery mucus that lubricates the vocal cords, thus reducing the need for throat clearing.

Adequate hydration makes the voice easier to use, reduces the risk of injury, and enhances the overall health and efficiency of the vocal apparatus. To maintain proper hydration, you should:

  • Consume a sufficient amount of water throughout the day
  • Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol
  • Incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet, as they are rich in water content.

Diet and lifestyle choices

A balanced diet that includes:

  • Lean protein
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Adequate water intake

Enjoying a balanced diet is critical for vocal health. Abstaining from acidic, spicy, and fatty foods can also help preserve vocal health.

Moreover, taking vocal rest breaks throughout the day is essential for maintaining a healthy vocal system. Engaging in regular physical activity, managing stress levels, obtaining adequate rest, and refraining from smoking or vaping are all beneficial habits for sustaining vocal health.

Proper speaking and singing technique

Employing proper speaking and singing techniques is essential for preserving vocal health and avoiding throat clearing. When speaking and singing properly, you should:

  • Maintain a “tall” posture
  • Breathe from the diaphragm
  • Relax the throat, tongue, and upper body
  • Warm up your voice

Techniques such as vibrato, breath control, lip trills, humming and singing, vowel vocal technique, and diction can also be employed to make singers maintain proper vocal health.

An image of a microphone against a blurred background of lights

When to Seek Professional Help

While practicing the exercises and tips mentioned above can significantly improve vocal health and reduce throat clearing, it’s crucial to know when to seek professional help for vocal health issues. Identifying warning signs and understanding the role of voice therapy in treating vocal problems are essential in addressing and resolving vocal concerns.

Let’s explore when to seek professional speech therapist help and learn more about the benefits of voice therapy.

Identifying warning signs

Signs of vocal damage may include:

  • prolonged hoarseness or hoarse voice
  • chronic vocal fatigue
  • throat soreness or difficulty with vocal use
  • sensation of pain or lump in the throat when speaking
  • variations in pitch
  • peculiar sounding speech
  • loss of voice.

If you experience any of these signs, it is essential to consult a speech-language pathologist or other healthcare professional to receive appropriate professional help.

The role of voice therapy

Voice therapy can be beneficial in addressing voice disorder-related vocal health issues and decreasing throat clearing. A speech-language pathologist (SLP) can provide instruction on physical exercises designed to reduce tension in the vocal tract and minimize the possibility of vocal trauma, such as tongue stretch, neck roll, and sighs and yawns.

Voice and speech therapy alone, administered by an SLP, can aid in sustaining a career and advancing professional and personal objectives.

Preventing Vocal Damage and Promoting Longevity

Maintaining a healthy voice is not only about treating existing issues but also about preventing vocal damage and promoting vocal longevity. Consistent vocal warm-ups and cool-downs, vocal rest and recovery, and ongoing learning and development are essential for preventing vocal damage and encouraging vocal longevity.

Let’s explore these strategies in more detail to understand better their importance in sustaining a healthy voice.

Regular vocal warm-ups and cool-downs

Regular vocal warm-ups and cool-downs are vital for maintaining vocal health and reducing the need for throat clearing. These exercises include:

  • Descending slides
  • Vocalizing
  • Hydration
  • Gentle movements

These vocal exercises help to prepare for voice disorders and safeguard the voice before and after singing or speaking.

Incorporating vocal warm-ups and cool-downs into your daily routine can facilitate the reduction of throat clearing, enhance vocal range and quality, and minimize the potential for vocal damage.

Vocal rest and recovery

Vocal rest and recovery involves abstaining from speaking, singing, or whispering for a set period of time in order to allow the vocal cords to heal and prevent further damage.

Much like resting a blistered foot to reduce swelling, vocal rest and recovery are essential for avoiding damage and inflammation in the vocal cords.

By incorporating vocal rest and recovery into your routine, you protect and enhance your vocal cords, facilitating the healing process and reducing the risk of further harm.

Continuous learning and improvement

Emphasizing continuous learning and improvement in vocal technique is essential to ensure vocal health and minimize throat clearing.

By continually developing your abilities and understanding related to vocal technique, you can better understand how to use vocal technique to protect and improve your voice.

Utilizing various learning methods, such as upskilling, social learning, collaboration, experimentation, and fostering a continuous learning culture, can help you achieve ongoing vocal improvement.


In conclusion, maintaining a clear and healthy voice requires a combination of understanding throat clearing, practicing effective diaphragm exercises, adopting healthy habits, and recognizing when to seek professional help. By incorporating regular vocal warm-ups and cool-downs, diaphragmatic breathing, swallowing exercises, hydration, and proper speaking and singing techniques into your routine, you can protect and enhance your voice, reduce the need for throat clearing, and prevent vocal damage.

Remember, your voice is an essential tool for communication, self-expression, and connection with others. Invest in your vocal health by practicing these tips and exercises, continuously learning and improving, and seeking professional help when needed. With dedication and consistency, you can achieve vocal longevity and enjoy a clear, healthy voice for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some effective exercises for clearing the throat?

Humming, diaphragmatic breathing, and swallowing exercises can be effective for clearing the throat and improving vocal function.

These exercises can help reduce vocal fatigue, improve vocal range, and increase vocal clarity. They say exercise can also help to reduce the risk of vocal cord damage.

It is important to practice these exercises.

How does hydration impact vocal health?

Proper hydration is essential for optimal vocal health, as it helps lubricate the vocal cords, facilitates smooth vocal fold vibration, and reduces the need for throat clearing.

What are the warning signs of vocal damage?

Signs of vocal damage include hoarseness, vocal fatigue, throat soreness, pain or lump in the throat when speaking, and loss of voice.

When should I seek professional help for vocal health issues?

If you experience any vocal issues such as hoarseness, vocal fatigue, or difficulty speaking, it is important to seek professional help for vocal health.

What is the importance of continuous learning and improvement in vocal technique?

Continuous learning and improvement in vocal technique are essential for preserving vocal health, reducing throat clearing, and avoiding any damage to the voice.

It is important to practice vocal exercises regularly and to be aware of any changes in the voice that could indicate a problem. Taking regular breaks from singing and speaking can also help to reduce strain on the vocal cords.

Chief Medical Director at SANESolution | Website

Dr. Matthew Olesiak continues to make a significant impact in the medical field through his work at SANESolution and his dedication to evidence-based practices.