Five Tips to Protect Your Voice in Winter

Posted in: Voice News  |  March 9, 2012 
Five Tips to Protect Your Voice in Winter

The winter months bring a few seasonal gifts with them – not the least of which are cold weather and dryer-than-normal air from indoor heating. If all that makes you want to hibernate, then you’re not alone: Your vocal cords require special care during the cold season, especially if you rely on your voice for singing or speaking on the job.

Cold temperatures, dehydration and frequent speaking or singing can strain your voice. And when winter colds start circulating, commonly purchased cough drops and mints can make problems worse.

Many cough drops contain chemicals (including menthol) that leave vocal cords vulnerable after weakening mucous membranes in the larynx and throat. In addition, some lozenges with painkillers cover up vocal strain without healing it. For a better winter solution, try ice chips or hard candy, such as lemon drops.

Still concerned about the health of your voice? Try these tips to help avoid vocal strain.

  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to dry indoor air. Alternately, try inhaling steam in the shower or from a kettle. Be sure to breathe through your nose.
  • Wear a turtleneck or scarf when you need to save your voice. Your voice box will stay warmer with extra insulation from the elements.
  • Drink slippery elm bark tea. This tea, available from many brands, both coats and sooths the throat.
  • Stay hydrated at all times. Keep water, decaffeinated drinks, soup and water-rich fruits at the top of your winter menu. Be wary of caffeine or alcohol, which dry the vocal cords.
  • Rest when you need it. When your body and voice have ample recuperation time, they’ll perform better. Be sure to get solid rest each night, and reduce the amount you talk or sing when dealing with illness or feeling hoarse.

If you need help saving your voice or simply want to get it in better shape, feel free to call us or visit our office. We’re always here for a consultation or friendly advice on keeping your vocal cords healthy all winter long.