Vocal Health Tips — NO cough drops!

Well, it is that time of year when people start to get colds, coughs, etc. It’s really important to take care of your voice! Your vocal chords are just two folds of skin-like tissue and can be easily damaged. They’re most commonly damaged when they slam into each other or are stretched tight. So, please take care of them. Here are a few tips:

  1. NO cough drops!!! While cough drops can numb your throat and bring you comfort, they also numb your vocal chords and they have to work harder stretching thin and slamming into each other for you to speak or sing. If you must take cough drops, the perfect time is before bed. This way you can sleep better without coughing so much and you’re not using your voice.
  2. A safe route of bringing your throat comfort and soothing a cough is to drink warm liquids with honey and lemon. This time of year I keep a batch of honey/lemon/ginger in the refrigerator for easy access. Simply thinly slice a lemon or two and some fresh ginger, mix with and cover with honey. Make sure to keep the fruit covered with honey as it acts as a preservative. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Mix with hot water or tea.
  3. Take a vocal time out. Giving your voice rest is the best medicine to having it recover.
  4. Gargle with warm salt water. I know this sounds disgusting. I’m not going to tell you it’s not. However, it really works to clear out phlegm from the back of your throat which causes a lot of coughing as your body is trying to expel it.
  5. When you are loosing your voice or have lost your voice for whatever reason, don’t whisper! Whispering puts more stress on your vocal chords and throat than speaking does. Just speak normally. If it comes out funny, well, it comes out funny. People will be sympathetic as they too have had times when their voice sounds odd due to illness.
  6. Drink lots and lots of water! You need to keep yourself hydrated and keeping your throat wet will help with vocal health.
  7. Keep your throat warm. Luckily wearing scarves is in high fashion right now!
  8. Drink throat coat tea. It’s a pleasant, comforting thing to drink and may help.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Do you have other suggestions? Share them here.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!   Lillieth

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