If you suffer from chronic hoarseness and are not sick, then you are likely in the throes of vocal abuse. While it is possible that certain antihistamines or other types of medications can produce irritation in your throat, for many people, prescribed drugs are not the cause. Vocal abuse is.
These same people may go to an ENT specialist, be given a clean bill of health, and leave not knowing what is causing the problem or what to do about it. If you are experiencing vocal abuse and do nothing about it, then it will not only continue but there is also the likelihood that you will suffer permanent damage to your vocal folds (cords).
One of the women in my church congregation is a retired physical education teacher. She is no longer able to sing because of the tremendous amount of stress she placed on her voice during all those years of teaching and coaching. With a lot of ‘gravel’ in her voice, Judy will forever live with the damage.
A man I spoke to on the phone the other day is required to speak to various groups of people while standing outside on the grounds of the university campus where he works. He is finding that after giving an ‘outside’ presentation, his throat is sore and it is difficult for him to return to his ‘normal’ voice. What Walter does not understand is that if he continues with these presentations in the exact same fashion, he will one day discover that his ‘normal’ voice is gone forever.
Some of the scenarios which can prompt vocal abuse include:
1. constant shouting or yelling;
2. talking in a loud voice for great lengths of time;
3. talking in a normal volume of voice for great lengths of time;
4. rooting for your favorite sports team;
5. trying to speak loudly in a noisy club or bar;
6. holding day-long training sessions;
7. teaching; and,
You may be able to add another scenario to the list above, however, what you need to realize from these types of practices is that anything which stresses your voice box and/or throat is hazardous to your vocal health. And, unfortunately, what is currently hazardous to your speaking voice may be downright injurious to those delicate vocal folds if you don’t stop the activity which is causing your discomfort.
By learning to place your voice in your chest, you can immediately relieve the chronic hoarseness or sore throat because you will be taking the stress and the strain off of your throat.
In my next article, entitled, The Only Way to Successfully ‘Treat’ Vocal Abuse, I will discuss the 3 things you will need to learn in order to eliminate the problem once and for all.
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit Voice Dynamic and discover the best means to sounding more mature.