I Lost My Voice. Now What?

Posted in: New Articles,Voice News  |  February 3, 2014 
I Lost My Voice. Now What?

 

Have a little too much fun screaming during the Super Bowl? Then you might be left with a raspy voice…or you might not have one left at all. As you’re nursing your voice back to health, there are some helpful hints — and pesky myths — to consider.

The Health Hints

  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. The vocal cords vibrate about 100 times each second for men, and about 200 times for women. That’s a lot of friction, especially when the vocal cords are damaged from overuse. Drinking plenty of water and non-caffeinated beverages can help with healing.
  • humidifierTurn on the humidifier. Dry winter air? Radiator at full blast? Not the best for an irritated throat. A humidifier can help bring the air into balance, or you can simply turn on a hot shower and rest in the bathroom with the door closed for a few minutes. Your own steam room!
  • Stay away from cigarettes. Drying out a sore, raspy throat more? Just another reason to say no. And avoid secondhand smoke, too.
  • Don’t clear your throat. As tempting as it might be, resist the urge. Clearing your throat can elevate the irritation.

 

From our own Dr. Robert Pincus:

“If your hoarseness persists for more than 2 weeks you should have your vocal cords examined by an ear, nose and throat doctor  to make sure that there is no problem that requires medical intervention.”

 

The Old Myths

  • A hot toddy will do the trick. Hot toddies can seem enticing on a cold, snowy day, and they’ve even been touted for their supposedly “medicinal” qualities. But there’s no scientific proof that a toddy will turn the tide, and the dehydrating properties of alcohol can actually dry your throat more.
  • Seek out some slippery elm. There’s no evidence that slippery elm — an minimize talking on the phone for hoarsenessingredient added to some lozenges and teas to soothe the voice — will do damage to your vocal cords. But there’s no proof it’ll help, either. Don’t expect a quick fix from this ingredient.
  • Whisper. It’ll feel better. Despite common belief, whispering causes the vocal cords to work harder and strain more than quiet talking does. A general rule: rest your voice when you can, and talk quietly (but don’t whisper) when you have to speak. Also talking on the phone should be kept to a minimum.

In any case, keep in mind that these tips are general rules, not to replace the personalized advice of a doctor. If you need help getting your voice healthy, come by and see us for a consultation.