April 8, 2014
Voice Loss Myths
You probably have experienced that regret when you wake up the next morning after screaming your head off at that concert. You can’t talk; if you do a horrible croak comes out or as a girl you sound like a man and it’s really awkward when you answer the phone whispering hello or have to walk around the office with a notepad to communicate. Sometimes you are sick, sometimes you were yelling too much or sometimes it can happen for no reason at all, but we can all agree on one thing: it sucks.
I lost my voice a few weeks ago and my roommate offered me some hot tea with honey and lemon in it as a remedy. I was curious, so I did a search online of what could help repair voice loss. Surprisingly, lemon was on the list as something to avoid, despite the fact that my roommate insisted it was good for my aching throat. According to what I found, both tea and lemon are acidic, which can corrode the throat and vocal cords and promote acid reflux. Also among the list of things to avoid due to acidity was chocolate. Good-bye hot cocoa.
So what can you do to speed up the recovery process when you’ve lost one of your most valuable abilities? In order to help gain back a lost voice the most important thing to do is stop talking. This might seem obvious that using the inflamed vocal cords is not a good idea, but even whispering or coughing can further irritate the vocal cords. You should really just take a day off and watch TV or something else that you can do alone. Of course this is easier said than done, but just do your best to avoid any interaction that involves talking.
Another great step to getting that voice back is through hydrating with good old fashioned water. Being hydrated is important for lubricating the vocal cords so they can more easily vibrate to produce sound. Another fun fact is that women’s vocal cords (with a higher pitched voice) vibrate more quickly than a man’s lower pitched voice. So when a woman begins losing her voice she sometimes starts to sound like a man because her vocal cords can no longer vibrate as quickly. Since being hydrated is so good for lubricating the vocal cords, alcohol is a very bad idea when you have lost your voice. Alcohol dehydrates the body and therefore the vocal cords. Caffeine in coffee is also dehydrating, so it’s a no go for the time that your voice is out of commission. For those of you who are truly desperate though, you can use artificial saliva (Yum!!) products to keep things moist in there.
Follow these steps to get back in the game, but also be sure that you address the root of the problem. If you have lost your voice because you have strep throat, then these tips aren’t going to help you very much. Be sure you get rid of the source of your problem along with these tips to get back to normal in no time.
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