Losing Your Voice? Get it Back, Now!
The dreaded flu shot is upon us. If you are working in entertainment, you may be particularly worried about catching a respiratory illness and losing your voice. This can be devastating for actors and singers. But, stress can also lower the immune system’s response and bring about colds and flus. So, instead of sitting back and worrying about laryngitis, it’s best to load up on the vitamin C and take things easy.
If you do happen to grow hoarse before a scheduled performance, there are a couple of things you can do to speed up the recovery process and continue as scheduled. Of course, if the hoarseness persists despite your best efforts and sticks around for a prolonged period of time, it’s time to schedule a visit to your physician. You’ll want to rule out any conditions that may need to be treated long-term, such as allergies or sinus problems.
First thing’s first. When your voice starts to fade, first consider whether your practicing proper posture. If you’re constantly slouching or holding yourself in a certain way, you can restrict airflow and increase neck and throat tension that can impact the larynx. This can make you feel hoarse and cause you to temporarily lose your voice. Relearning proper posture can help open up your airways and reduce the chance of voice loss.
It is also important to ensure you are not dealing with gastrointestinal issues such as acid reflux or frequent heartburn. These conditions cause stomach acid to rise into the esophagus and can affect vocal cords, producing hoarseness. To keep stomach issues at bay, avoid having a large meal right before bedtime. Lying down immediately after you’ve eaten can increase the likelihood of developing symptoms of reflux. Also, limit your consumption of carbonated beverages, alcohol, and highly acidic foods. If you continue to have issues affecting your voice, meet with your healthcare provider.
If you’ve tried the above tips and are still experiencing issues with chronic hoarseness, consider searching for an ear, nose, and throat doctor nearby. You may have an underlying issue such as noncancerous vocal nodes that need to heal. These commonly occur with overuse of your vocal cords, which is, of course, possible in the entertainment industry.
The best remedy for cold or flu-causing laryngitis is lots of water and rest. You can also try gargling saltwater, an old wives’ tale that can actually work wonders. Creating and maintaining balance between work and rest will keep you in the game.