Without A Voice? Four Myth’s Debunked.
By Hallie Bulkin
I lost my voice and cannot find it! What’s a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) to do with a cleared schedule and no voice? Blog about losing her voice, of course! As an SLP, I am licensed to diagnose and treat patients in the “voice department” but please keep in mind this article provides information that is safe for anyone (parents, teachers, children) to use and is not intended to diagnose, treat or take the place of medical advice (please see disclaimer at end of post).
Laryngitis seems to be “going around” and it caught me! Some people have a 24-hour laryngitis (voice gone one day, back the next), while others are affected by allergies and struggle with a raspy voice for the duration of allergy season. There are other scenarios as well but in those cases I advise you to seek the advice of your healthcare provider.
All that said, there are quite a few myths out there on what to do when your voice runs away…let’s discuss!
Myth #1: Drink tea with honey and lemon. FALSE!!! Honey is fine as it coats your throat and may feel soothing, but lemon and some teas are acidic and if this triggers acid reflux it can actually make your laryngitis worse. Make sure the tea you drink is warm, herbal and caffeine-free! You can add the honey but remember to avoid the lemon.
Myth #2: Eat healthy to avoid Laryngitis. In a perfect world we should all eat healthy. However, switching over your diet right now is not going to miraculously bring your voice back. There are, however, foods to avoid with Laryngitis (especially if you have acid reflux). For example, avoid acidic foods like citrus fruits, tomatoes, chocolate, etc. Instead: go for that banana that will be soft on the throat and is generally not acidic (until overly ripe). As you look for foods to eat, you can google them to find out if they are considered acidic or not, there is plenty of info on the internet these days.
Myth #3: Whisper so you don’t overuse your voice. WRONG!!!! OY please don’t whisper! Picture this…every time you whisper (or clear your throat) your vocal cords look like two cars crashing into each other with extreme force. Are you now picturing the potential damage this can create? In simpler words, whispering and clearing your throat just prolong the amount of time your vocal colds need to heal. Solution: clear your schedule for 24 hours and engage in vocal rest AKA DON’T SPEAK for 24 hours. I am on hour 21 as I write this blog post. If I CAN DO IT, YOU CAN DO IT (just ask my husband)! J
Myth #4: Drink LOTS of Water. Okay not totally a myth, you should drink plenty of water. But make sure it is warm or room temperature, not so hot your burn your throat and avoid cold, which will further irritate your vocal cords. Avoid adding acidic fruits (lemon, lime, orange) to your water.
As always, I hope these tips help! For medical advice on laryngitis please contact your primary doctor and/or healthcare advisor.
Best in Health,
Note: This post was first published on DCLadies.com on May 20, 2014.
Disclaimer: Please note this information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis and/or treatment. For advice, diagnosis and/or treatment, it is recommended that you seek medical advice from your healthcare advisor.