Thursday, December 22, 2016

Safeguarding your voice during the festivities

Parties, chitchat, caroling, church choir--your voice can take a beating at this time of year.

People tend to take their voice for granted, says laryngeal surgeon Anca Barbu, MD. They expect it to be in  good working order no matter what.

Still,  it might be a good idea to take some steps:

--Stay hydrated. Vocal cords rely on moisture. Overheated homes, dry airliner air and cabin pressure, all can impair your voice.

--Plug in the humidifier. Be sure to buy a new one or thoroughly clean your old one. A cheaper option is a steamy shower.

--If you throw a party, keep the music low. If it's not your house, move closer to the person you are talking with.

--Avoid eggnog and peppermint. These two can cause more acid reflux, which affects your vocal cords. If you do eat a spicy treat, don't lie down--take a walk.

--Budget your voice. If you have upcoming choir performances, don't shout your lungs out at a football game or screech at the kids.

--Still experience throat pain or raspiness? See a voice specialist if it doesn't go away in three weeks.

I am prone to laryngitis--and I learned that even whispering when you have that is bad.

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