Weekly Teaching Tip
Dec. 16, 2013
By Dr. Steven Sims, Chicago, IL, USA
Here is a list of important things for singers to do to take care of their voices in cold or harsh times.
Eat Well: Good nutrition gives your body what it needs to fight infection. Vitamin C, Vitamin E. Echinacea and Goldenseal help support your immune system. Zinc also helps to lessen symptoms. Airborne (Walborne) can help at the first signs of a cold.
Cover Your Head: Face masks are helpful. When we breathe in cold air through our mouths, it is irritating to the voice box. Cover your face, especially mouth and nose when you’re outside.
Avoid Smoke: Avoid first or second-hand exposure to smoke. Smoke irritates the vocal folds.
Get Plenty of Rest: The body repairs itself during sleep. Without proper sleep you are more susceptible to colds. When tired you don’t breathe as deeply and the deeper your breathing the stronger your voice.
Warm Up Your Voice: When you are weight training you need short breaks between sets. Likewise, for every hour of talking you need 5-10 minutes of silence to give your voice a break during the day.
Stay Hydrated: The voice box works best when it is well lubricated. Dry heat sources can leave you with a dry, scratchy voice. Drink plenty of water and use a humidifier. Be sure to keep the humidifier clean to avoid dust allergies and mold.
See a Laryngologist: See your laryngologist/doctor if hoarseness or cough persist beyond 2-3 weeks. Reflux, allergies and viral infections can cause chronic symptoms, which will require treatment. If you smoke it is even more important to have your voice box checked out!