We use our voice every day, and every time we use our voice, there is a chance that we might possibly damage it unintentionally.
Most times we don’t take this seriously. We don’t put too much attention to simple itchiness in our throats. Neglecting small irritations like this will get worse since we are using our voices every day.
Continuing these bad habits will surely lead to serious issues. We can only hope that it will not be serious enough that it will not need treatments from doctors.
Reasons of Losing your Voice
1. Voice overuse/ Wrong use of voice
Talking for hours, unnecessary yelling without a proper warm-up, drinking ice cold drinks after a stressful speaking engagement, are some of the causes of Acute Laryngitis.
Laryngitis is an inflammation of your larynx. It can be caused by bacterial infection, irritation, and overuse like in all the previous examples.
Acute Laryngitis can last for more than a week but if not treated, may turn to Chronic laryngitis. This can last for three weeks and may need medical attention.
2. Too Many Sweets
Sweet foods like candies and chocolates are very likable and highly addictive. In our lives, we once loved sweets so much.
Sweet foods can easily be our go-to food but you should know that they could be super acidic. Especially, the ones that are hidden in cakes, doughnuts, and puddings.
Infectious agents love an acidic environment and it may cause inflammation.
3. Sleeping Late
Poor sleeping habits and potential colds go together. The immune system works better if we are well-rested.
People that sleep late will be more vulnerable to illnesses that may also cause sore throats. Throats are a bit dry when we sleep.
Stress hormone levels will also rise as a result of sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation causes exhaustion, which leads to increased tension and ineffective vocal use.
4. Oral Hygiene
Brushing your teeth is a must especially, before going to sleep because we acquire bacterias every time we eat.
Sleeping without brushing your teeth means that your mouth will be infested by bacterias that may harm the condition of your throat.
5. Too Much Alcohol
Drinking alcohol will cause dehydration. Unmoist throat may cause damage to your voice box(larynx). Besides having a hungover, you’ll be nursing a dry throat that may be sore anytime if not attended to.
Flu is always accompanied by a lot of other illnesses like colds, coughs, fever, body aches, and sore throat.
How to get your voice back
1. Drink Plenty of Water
Water has no acid. Drinking water will calm your swollen throat. It may take some time before results kick in but there is no risk of damaging your throat more compared to drinking ginger-based or honey-based remedies.
Warm water is very recommendable because it will moisten your throat at the best possible temperature. Drinking ice-cold water may cause stiffness to your throat muscles. Too hot may cause more damage to your already swollen throat.
2. Voice Rest
During colds and flu that cause hoarseness in the voice, or more serious vocal problems like laryngitis, you can rest your voice by not speaking completely.
The goal of voice rest is to speed up the healing process. Vocal rest, drinking plenty of water, is believed to shorten the recovery period after a simple cold or more major throat problems.
Humans use their voices each day. It is not bad to give it a good rest even if there are no complications at all.
3. 8-Hour Sleep
Have you ever woke up one morning and noticed that you’re not speaking normally? Our voice is usually not in condition every morning especially when we sleep late.
8 hours is the ideal sleeping time for everyone. To sing with our full range of expression, we must first find the right balance of rest and activity.
For professional singers who have no choice but to sleep late, make sure you can find time in the morning to acquire the right amount of sleep you should be getting. This will not just affect your voice but your whole performance.
4. Avoid Whispering
According to studies, whispering may harm the larynx more than normal speech because it involves more effort than speaking at a normal volume.
When you have throat problems, your instinct may tell you that it’s better to whisper. Speech therapists feel otherwise. Research says that you are actually straining your voice box more.
If there is really nothing that important to say or important things to talk about, it is advisable to just don’t speak to conserve voice but if it can’t be helped just speak normally.
5. Moisten Your Throat
Our throat naturally dries out when we sleep. This builds up bacteria that will worsen your already infected throat.
With the help of a humidifier, we will inhale warm moist air that will keep our throat at the right amount of moisture. This process will lessen possible irritation that may further harm your throat.
Boiling water and inhaling the steam will also help moisturize your infected throat. the hot moist will also get rid of some of the bacterias that cause the infection.
6. Avoid Irritating your Throat Further
If you already have a swollen throat, refrain yourselves from things that may add injury to your voice.
Minor illness could still get worse. And even after you get better, you should learn how to take better care of your voice.
7. First Aid Medication
There is a lot of first aid options you can check on the internet or ask your parents about it. Here are some of what they would say.
Gargling with Saltwater is very good for calming the inflammation and reducing the swelling of your throat. Do these every night before you go to sleep to keep your throat safe as you sleep.
Gargle water with Hexetidine. It is an antibacterial fluid you can mix with water, designed to mainly target throat problems like laryngitis, tonsilitis, Pharyngitis, and many more.
Drink Pain Relievers, but don’t rely on it too much. There might be moments when the pain will be intolerable, but it may also depend on your pain tolerance. if you can’t take the pain, take one of these.
Take Lozenges especially if speaking engagements can’t be canceled. It will take away some of the irritation caused by the inflammation and give soothing relief for quite some time.
8. Always Brush Your Teeth
If you already have an inflamed throat, you have to keep your mouth clean. Unchecked bacterias may also worsen the state of your throat and it may take longer before you can use your voice normally.
If you can brush your teeth after every meal, especially if you have throat issues, please do so. The longer you let those bacterias in your mouth uncleaned, the longer they stay and infect and probably worsen your swollen throat.
Brushing your teeth is not only for your teeth but also for the overall cleanliness of your mouth. It is also recommended to change your toothbrush to make sure you are not bringing new bacterias into your mouth.
9. Boost Your Immune System
Watch your food intake. Eat organic and healthy foods every day if possible. There are a lot of vegetables that naturally boost your immune systems such as Brocolli, Cauli Flower, Horseradish, Turnips, and many more.
Vitamin D is where the strength of our immune system lies. There are food supplements that contain Vitamin D if you don’t have time to take a walk outside under the sun before 10 AM to get it naturally.
Vitamin C is for protection and energy. Available on most fruits like oranges, apples, bananas, and many more. This will somehow keep you away from the stress that makes us feel weak sometimes and more vulnerable to flu.
10. Take Better Care of Your Throat
If you have managed to get your voice back, you should have known how you lost it and be guided according to your experience. It is the best teacher.
I’m not saying we’d be safe from losing our voice after we have learned our lesson. There are a lot of factors that contribute to throat issues.
But after everything we have learned so far, we should be watchful enough not to get the same throat disorder from time to time.
If Symptoms Persist
No one will know better than professionals. Some of these disorders can be cured at home but how do we know if we need a doctor’s opinion?
If your voice is your way to keep the lights on, it is very reasonable to check with a doctor every time. Experience may have got you somewhere but we’re not really sure if it’s going to work every time.
Normally minor throat disorders never last for more than a week. But if it does, and home remedies don’t work anymore, we should consult a doctor.
Doctors have equipment that can specify what is wrong with your throat. Upon knowing, you’ll know what to do and what steps you need to take to make your condition better.
If you have the luxury to go to a doctor right away, do it before it gets worse. Or else, it may cost you more time, effort, and money. Quite a hassle if you ask me.
The Best Way to Keep Your Voice Healthy
Prevention is better than cure. If you want a healthy throat, start with a healthy body. Eat healthy foods, exercise, and keep a healthy lifestyle.
The only way that these tips will be effective is if you no longer need these tips anymore.
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