Teachers, singers, politicians, preachers, and – ahem – radio hosts – all need to worry about losing their voice. And experts say at some point, we’ll all lose our voices because we’re living longer today – and it’s a natural part of aging. Because as we get older, our vocal cords become thinner, making it harder for them to produce the vibrations needed to talk and sing.

But there are new advances that can keep our voices strong. For example:

  • There’s a new procedure called a “voice lift.” It’s basically “Botox for your vocal cords,” because it involves doctors plumping up thinning vocal cords with collagen and your own body fat. The same types of fillers used to smooth facial wrinkles, or get rid of crow’s feet.

  • And in extreme cases, doctors can even insert silicon implants, to fatten the vocal cords permanently!

Keep in mind, these new treatments won’t work for everyone. That’s why voice expert Dr. Michael Johns recommends a few simple tricks to help keep your voice strong and clear – so you won’t need surgery:

  • First: Relax. Because studies show that stress causes us to speak in a voice that’s too deep or too high, which can strain your vocal cords over time.

  • Keep using your voice. Because it’s bad if we talk too little. Experts say our vocal cords are like muscles, and if you don’t exercise them, they’ll get smaller and weaker. So, on days when you don’t have regular conversations, try reading out loud from a book. Dr. Johns says that’ll help keep your vocal cords in shape, so your voice will be strong for the long haul.