Vocal Health

Feeling sick?  Here are some tips to help.

 

Vocal Rest: The best cure for laryngitis is complete vocal rest. This means no talking, no whispering, no singing, no shouting.

 

Post-Nasal Drip: Post-nasal drip, whether from allergies, an impending cold, or acid reflux, can irritate your throat and vocal cords and cause inflammation. Get rid of it and clean out your sinuses with a neti pot.  

 

Phlegm and Mucus: To thin your mucosal secretions and help your sinuses drain faster when fighting a cold or allergies, try Mucinex. 

 

Anti-Inflammatory Remedies for Laryngitis: Swollen vocal cords don’t vibrate properly. Often singers with swollen cords will describe their voice as feeling “thick” or “sluggish.” Try drinking a tea that hascatnip, which is said to help reduce swelling in vocal cords. Traditional Medicinals’ Nighty Night Tea is a good choice. Avoid any type of respiratory irritant such as tobacco smoke and fumes as much as possible. Pineapple is rich in the enzyme bromelain, a natural anti-inflammatory agent that has been known to help reduce swelling in vocal cords. Other proven remedies are the spices ginger and turmeric. 

 

Stay Hydrated! Staying hydrated keeps the vocal cords supple and moist, protecting them from the natural friction that occurs with phonation. Coffee, tea, and most soft drinks contain caffeine that tend to lead to dehydration – it is best to avoid these altogether.

 

Sore Throat Relief: Try Thayers’ Slippery Elm Lozenges and Traditional Medicinals’ Throat Coat Tea. The tea contains a blend of herbs known for their soothing qualities: slippery elm bark (also a main ingredient in the Thayers’ lozenges), marshmallow root, licorice root, and a dried extract of Chinese licorice root. In many parts of the world, these demulcent herbs have long histories of use in the treatment of sore throats. The tea can help coat irritated membranes and soothe sore throats.

 

Fight Off that Cold: To fight off or shorten the length of a cold, many singers swear by Cold-Eeze. Don’t take it on an empty stomach; the zinc may make you nauseous. Another natural remedy that many singers keep in their arsenal to beat the flu bug is Oscillococcinum. If you’re brave, you can also try this potent Propolis & Echinacea Throat Spray.

 

Throat-Clearing: Throat clearing is extremely traumatic to the vocal cords, leading to wear and tear. When you feel the need to clear your throat try this instead: swallow, have a sip of water, or clear your throat silently without allowing your vocal cords to touch.

 

Vocal Abuse/Overuse: It has been said, “everything in moderation”. This is especially true when it comes to the use of your voice. Don’t speak excessively; choose your words carefully. Avoid lengthy conversations on the phone. If your job involves talking on the phone all day, then rest your voice for ten minutes every 2-3 hours. This will go a long way towards easing the strain on your voice. Talk at a moderate volume; this will sometimes mean avoiding environments with is excessive background noise (cars, parties, bars, airplanes, restaurants). If you must talk in these situations, you should get as close to the person you are talking to as possible, preferably facing them. In some instances, you may need amplification to talk in a noisy environment. 

 

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