Published: Jan. 20, 2010
Updated: Aug. 4, 2011
Throat clearing is traumatic to the vocal folds and can contribute to a vocal injury.
Often people feel the need to clear the throat because of the feeling of “too much mucus” when actually the mucus is just “too thick.” Increasing your intake of water should gradually improve this problem.
Make sure you inform your doctor if you have any drainage from your nose or any burning sensation in your throat. Some medical conditions may also contribute to a problem with thick mucus.
If your doctor recommends a medication that “thins” the mucus, drink plenty of water (six to eight glasses per day) so the medication will work properly.
Over time, throat clearing becomes habitual. The more you clear your throat, the more you will feel the need to do so. Suppressing the urge to clear your throat or clearing your throat very gently can help to break this cycle.
The following strategies will help to distract you from throat clearing and therefore, eliminate habitual throat clearing:
Remember, the throat clear is automatic, so it will take time, awareness, and practice to eliminate it. The decrease in “wear and tear” on your vocal cords will make the effort worthwhile!