‘Tis the season. For losing your voice.
And doesn’t laryngitis always happen at the WORST possible time? Waking up one day and not having a voice can set you back days or even weeks if you had things planned like videos, podcasting or live broadcasts. Unfortunately, there’s no immediate fix, but there are measures you can take to lessen the inflammation and perhaps heal a bit faster.
How did you get laryngitis?
Losing your voice could be from one or a combination of several reasons –
- a virus causing an upper respiratory infection (aka the common cold),
- overuse – just too much talking or singing,
- smoking or exposure to smoke or polluted air,
- GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) Google it – it’s a thing,
- and, my personal new non-favorite: allergies!
Any or all of these situations can cut your voice down like a sword-wielding pirate taking over a ship.
You are at the mercy of time.
Yes, TIME. Although there are a few things you can do to speed up the clock a bit.
- Rest your voice. This is the #1 tip for a reason. STOP TALKING. I know it’s incredibly hard, but the more you force your voice to produce sound, the longer you’ll drag this thing out. Get a notepad, a dry erase board, or install a text to speech app on your phone and choose the fun British voice to be you for awhile. Just stop talking.
- Don’t whisper. I know, you thought it was okay. But in reality you risk doing more damage when you whisper. (See #1 for communication ideas)
- Breathe moist air – got a vaporizer? Use it. Take a nice hot shower, even lean over the sink a few times a day and breathe in some steamy moist air.
- Drink water. I originally wrote “drink fluids” in my notes – but really, the only thing you need to be drinking right now is water. Lots and lots of water. This will help hydrate your whole body as well as those pesky dried out vocal chords, and it is a key to healing your voice. Half of your body weight in ounces is a good target. (Here, let me do that math for you: if you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water. You’re welcome.)
- Drink warm liquids. Yes, this goes along with tip #4, drink water. Your warm liquids could be plain water (maybe add some lemon), or one of the throat calming teas available now such as Throat Coat Tea by Traditional Medicinals or Honey Lemon Throat Comfort by Yogi. If you have a sore throat along with laryngitis, drinking warm water or tea will soothe and moisten your throat. Mmmmmmmmm…
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol can cause dehydration, which can dry out your throat and cause more hoarseness. We are trying to get well, remember?
- Avoid caffeine. I know you’re not happy about this, but caffeine can have the same drying effects as alcohol. This is a great time to decaffeinate yourself – or maybe just stick to one coffee instead of your usual five. I mean, how fast do you want to be heard again?
This is by no means an exhaustive list. I’m sure there are combinations of herbs or essential oils that may show great promise in helping to maintain vocal health – in fact, if you’ve found a sure fire way to speed up the healing process after losing your voice, would you let me know about it in the comments? I’d really like to learn about what works for you!