The Vocalist Magazine SPRING 2013 ISSUE - Page 58

VOCAL HEALTH R When your throat is sore, raw and irritated, it could be the cause of a medical condition such as laryngitis, the flu or strep throat. But when you can’t speak above a whisper, your sore throat could also be caused by overexertion -- singing too loud or cheering too much at a sports game, for example. Talk to your doctor to rule out any serious medical complications; if he approves, use home remedies and over-the-counter care to treat your sore throat and lost voice. HOME REMEDIES Before trying any prescription or over-the-counter treatment, soothe your throat with home remedies. Drink at least eight glasses of water each day, and drink plenty of warm liquids like chicken broth and herbal tea to moisten the vocal cords. Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air while you sleep -- when you breathe in, the water vapor soothes and moistens your vocal folds. If you don’t have a humidifier, concentrate on breathing through your nose. Your nostrils warm the air, creating a tiny humidifier in your body, according to “The Doctors Book of Home Remedies. When you’ve lost your voice, resist the urge to speak. The more you stress your vocal cords, the longer it will take for your voice to return. raphis and serrapeptase are common herbal remedies to reduce sore throat pain. Herbal remedies are not recommended for children, pregnant women or individuals who take prescription medication. By Me By Megan gan Smith Sm it F AS TH RO & AL OS VO ICE h HERBAL REMEDIES Some herbs, infused into herbal teas and throat lozenges, are purported by holistic specialists to soothe sore throat symptoms. These herbal remedies are not proven to be effective by doctors, but they could be worth a try. Sage, licorice root, slippery elm, androg- OVER-THE-COUNTER CARE Store-bought sore throat remedies, like throat lozenges and sprays, might temporarily reduce sore throat pain, but they don’t reduce the duration of your illness. Additionally, over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen reduce swelling and pain in the throat -- take each dose exactly as recommended on the label’s instructions. WARNINGS In rare cases, a sore throat may be the cause of a very serious condition such as a throat tumor. If you have difficulty swallowing, you hear a noise when you breathe or you are coughing up blood, consult your doctor immediately. Consult your doctor if your sore throat and difficulty speaking continue for longer than five days The Vocalist Magazine 58