Ho, Ho, Ho Can Make You Hoarse, Hoarse, Hoarse!

by Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D. on December 17, 2013

poinsettiasAs the holidays kick into high gear, you’re approaching a danger-zone for your voice.  Let me explain….

There are two primary ways that the holidays can harm your voice.  The first is that you may be doing some activities that dry out your throat.  One is flying and the other is drinking alcoholic beverages.

Now don’t get me wrong about that second one.  I’m all for you having fun, but remember that alcohol is a diuretic, and a dry throat sets you up for hoarseness.  A primary component of a hangover is dehydration.  So while you’re having fun, drink water along with your alcohol.  Just think of it as a chaser :-)   And in terms of flying, if you haven’t already read it, check out my post on how to stay healthy while flying.

The other holiday activity that can damage your voice happens to be those wonderful holiday parties.  There are two things that might be happening at those.  First, there may be people smoking.  (If you don’t know why this is harmful, you’ve been hiding under a rock!)  The second thing going on is noise: music playing, people talking and laughing.  In this setting you may find yourself shouting to be heard.  Not a good thing for the delicate vocal folds.  A night of this can definitely bring on hoarseness.

Learning to project your voice properly will help at noisy parties.  How do you project your voice well? I did a video for the International Journalism Network that explains it. Take a couple of minutes to watch so you can use your voice effectively when you’re trying to be heard at those noisy parties. I  hope you have many parties to go to and practice!

Happy Holidays to you all!!

Give yourself a gift of my new e-book, BROADCASTER’S SURVIVAL GUIDEYou can read more about all aspects of voice health.  Helpful for Voice Artists & Broadcasters!   And it’s only $4.99.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Harel December 22, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Hello Dr. Ann Utterback, I’m 16 years old and i have been singing and performing since i was 8. Since my voice changed i had this scratchy sound on my low/mid notes, as i go higher it gets clearer. Is that normal? I’m worried if i maybe damaged my voice, and now that the holidays come I’m afraid of damaging it even more with all of the performances. Sorry for my English it’s not my first language .

Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D. December 23, 2013 at 1:35 pm

I’m sorry, but I do not work with singers. I only work with broadcasters. I suggest you contact a singing teacher either through a local college or a music store. This person will know more about the problems you’re having. In the meantime, reading all my posts on Vocal Health will give you lots of information to use right away to help you with your performances this week. If you go to my website, look at the right hand sidebar for lists of categories and select Vocal Health. Good luck! Dr. Utterback

Harel December 23, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Oh alright thank you for responding, I thought you worked with singers since i clicked on a voice coaching site, should of read a bit more about you before asking that haha. I will try to contact one and read the posts, thanks again. :)

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: