It’s the time of the year again. Sooner or later, you know that you’ll suffer from either a cold or a flue. For singers this can be extra annoying, especially if the virus affects your larynx and vocal cords. When you suffer from hoarseness or voice loss, this is called laryngitis.
No matter how good your vocal and breathing techniques are, it can happen to anyone. As a singer, I know how distressful this is. You have to cancel your shows and it can take weeks before you’ll have your complete vocal range back. I feel really desperate when I lose my voice. Every time I make myself believe that I will never get it back again. But luckily, I’m always wrong. If laryngitis is caused by a cold or influenza, it will cure by itself and within one or two weeks you will have your voice back.
But there are actually quite some things that you can do yourself to quicken the process. Here are my personal tips:
1. Don’t panic and get some rest
You might feel upset about your voice, but try not to worry. Stress is another voice killer! Take good care of yourself: cancel your obligations and tuck yourself into bed. Make sure you get plenty of sleep as well.
2. Don’t speak
If possible, try not to speak at all for a couple of days. I’ve experienced that this accelerates the healing process tremendously. You can even make a virtue out of the necessity to consider it as a little silence retreat. Oh, and don’t whisper! This is even worse for your voice than speaking.
Make sure your room has sufficient air humidity. Drink lots of water and tea and avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks. And of course, don’t smoke. Why is hydration so important? It keeps your vocal cords flexible and maintains the protective mucus lining that coats your cords to protect them from the natural friction when you speak or sing. But keep in mind that hydration only works indirectly: Nothing you swallow actually touches your vocal cords.
4. Make delicious tea with fresh ginger, honey and lemon*
Lemon: Has a high source of vitamin C, works as a disinfectant and it can help to loosen the build-up of too much mucus in your respiratory system.
Honey: Is high in nutrients and soothes your sore throat. It also helps to form the protective coat on your vocal cords and improves cough symptoms.
Ginger: Warms you right up and helps to clear those sinuses and nasal passages. The spiciness may bring on a little healthy sweating.
5. Try not to cough
Although this may seem impossible while being ill, do keep in mind that coughing or clearing your throat will only worsen the hoarseness of your voice. It creates enormous pressure in your throat and makes the already irritated vocal cords hit against each other with brutal force. Hydration can help to prevent coughing, even as several cough suppressing over the counter medicines you can buy.
6. My no. 1 remedy: Isla Moos
My absolute favourite remedy to take care of my voice is Isla Moos. I’ve been using these tablets for many years now, and they help me to protect my voice all year round. And no, this is no sponsored content; I’m truly delighted about the pills! It’s an over the counter medicine which contains extracts of Iceland moss. The active ingredients cover the mucosa in your mouth and throat. This way it protects your vocal cords against dryness and several irritants, and it helps them to recover quickly from laryngitis.
*Foods and drinks that are known to benefit the voice, only do so after your body processes them. It affects your voice via your blood stream. There are scientific studies that seem to confirm almost every claim to ginger as a beneficial for the voice, but the scientific community won’t fully endorse the medicinal uses of ginger until there are many more and larger studies.