Take it from the pros, learning how to get your voice back, and quickly, is life-saving. Such is so no matter if you’re expected to contractually rock a concert in front of die-hard fans or to meet a vocal recording deadline. From SARS to the latest Coronavirus, the world of germs is getting novel and creative. It’s time to up your recovery A-game and stock up on remedies for every emergency situation.
When asked, every golden-throated performer has his or her secret vocal-cord soothing solutions. Charlie Puth’s advice? “Not use it. That’s the quickest way. And don’t whisper! A common misconception is that if you whisper, it’s better for your voice, but that’s way worse. That’s just as bad as screaming. That’s the same sensation.”
Nobody wants to get sick. Unpredictability just strikes. Whether you’re fighting allergy season or laryngitis, we have some tested and proven tricks up our sleeves to save your scratchy throat. Don’t disappoint. Recover lost voice in time to submit that voice acting project pronto!
How We Lose Our Voice
To get to the root of your problem, you must first understand what caused your loss of voice. If your income depends on it, it’s better to work on prevention than a cure in the future.
When we speak, our vocal cords open and close seamlessly to allow air to pass. The reverberating vibration of air through the passageway makes the sound that constitutes to our voice. A croaky and raspy voice could be a symptom of an infection or overworked vocal cords. The swollen structure is now distorted in shape and causes a change in sound that becomes hoarse or too soft to audibly hear.
The culprit to upper respiratory infections could be a virus or bacteria that causes a cold and cough. Bronchitis, sinusitis, and laryngitis are all inflammation in different parts of your respiratory system that can cause us a change in our voice one way or another. Antibiotic treatment can be used to cure some bacterial infection but not viral ones. Most of the time, the recovery of a viral infection depends on our own immune system. Most of the time, you will be able to recover your lost voice within 7 days.
Sometimes overuse of our vocal cords or using them unnaturally can also cause us to lose our voice. This happens more frequently in activities that require long hours of talking such as teaching loudly, cheering at a sports event or voice acting. Other risk factors include smoking and a history of cancer. If the hoarseness in your voice lasts beyond two to four weeks, a thorough medical evaluation should be considered.
Quick Emergency Solutions for Voice Recovery
Two to four weeks is a lifetime if your livelihood depends on your voice. If you are reading this, you probably have a demanding voice over project on hand that you need to complete with a sore throat. Here are a couple of quick fixes that may not help you cure your ailment, but give you enough of a break to meet that urgent deadline
Talk to your doctor about your vocal situation and see if he or she recommends a prescription of corticosteroids. Corticosteroid treatment can help to reduce the swelling of your vocal cords but is usually only administered with the urgent need to suppress laryngitis. The temporary solution does not, however, help to solve the origin of your inflammation. There is no short cut so extra care should still be taken to preserve your vocal cords on your road to recovery.
Over The Counter Medication
When we first feel the effects of laryngitis, the most common course of action is to try to ride it over with some over-the-counter treatments. Acetaminophen or anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDs, can help to relieve some symptoms temporarily. Acetaminophen under the common brand name, Tylenol, can help to counter pain in cases of sore throat. And NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen reduces swelling and pain caused by prostaglandins in the body. These solutions might buy you just enough bandwidth to complete your vocal project, but just like corticosteroids, they only provide temporary relief. You still need lots of rest to fully regain your voice again.
Hiring a Proxy
Sometimes, your limits just wouldn’t make the cut. It’s always wise to listen to your own body’s cues. In such cases, knowing where to hire a reliable stand-in for your dubbing, voice over or audio ad projects to meet that urgent deadline is highly useful. Platforms such as this one allow you to hire a voice-based on your specific preference on accent, quality, and language. Don’t lose your client. With a quick turnover time and affordable rates, you will be able to hand in your project on time.
Easy Home Remedies on How To Get Your Voice Back
These are no old folks’ myths. Either way, there is always some truth to ancient home remedies. Here are some scientifically proven ingredients that can help alleviate your symptoms and speed up your recovery.
Since 5,000 years ago, chamomile has been used as a beneficial herb. It contains antioxidants, astringent and anti-inflammatory medicinal properties. Studies have shown that hot chamomile tea can help to relieve symptoms of a sore throat and a cold. Inhaling the hot steam of your tea itself has in fact been found to be healing.
Why are most lozenges mentholated? Because it comes from peppermint that has been scientifically proven to soothe sore throats. Just like chamomile, peppermint has antimicrobial properties that can help you to fight a cold infection, and combat the pain of a sore throat. Opt for a hot peppermint tea with some honey, or add a couple of essential oils into your humidifier for inhaling.
To pack some punch into your teas, always add some honey. Honey has anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is even recommended by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention for symptomatic relief of colds and coughs. If you are willing to splurge a little, put a bottle of Manuka honey on your shelf. Pricey as it may be, it has been medically proven to more effectively reduce bacteria such as Streptococcus, which cause sore throats.
Known for its vitamin C richness, lemon is a worthy remedy for throat infections. The low pH not only helps to break up the mucus, but it also stimulates a release of saliva that can soothe the throat irritation, dryness, and inflammation. Add honey and a dash of cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper can naturally help to control the pain. Plus, the vitamin C from the lemon will help your body to combat any infection you have.
A powerful ingredient in ancient apothecaries, ginger helps to relieve inflammation and pain. Chewing on a piece of ginger or sipping on some tea can help to loosen up congestion and soothe the mucous membranes of your larynx. Saliva is anti-bacterial. The act of chewing also promotes saliva production that keeps your mouth and throat moist and fights off bacteria.
Yes, gross as it sounds, onions help. Onions boost immunity and can cure colds and coughs according to health experts. It also helps to expel mucus from your airways and can fight off both viral and bacterial infections. Drink 2 teaspoons of onion juice followed by a teaspoon of honey every three hours. Sure, it absolutely kills your breath but you don’t want to pass on your infection to anyone with your smooches anyway!
Tricks that Help Speed Voice Recovery
Shut up! No, we mean it, shut up. Literally! In the words of Patti LaBelle, “Be quiet! Don’t talk at all and write notes! You really have to shut up, which is hard for me to do, but you have to!” And that’s the golden prescription from many celebrity singers. Stop straining your voice box and give it a rest when you can. On top of that, here are some sure-fire methods on how to get your voice back.
Whether it’s an antiseptic liquid your doctor’s given to you, or some lukewarm saltwater, gargling is imperative. Why? Because it helps to destroy germs in order to fight the infection. Mix half a teaspoon of table salt with some warm water and gargle at least three times a day. Salt is also hydrophilic. Which means it attracts moisture. This prevents your throat from drying out on top of killing germs.
The hoarseness has got to stop! Keeping your respiratory tract moist can soothe irritated vocal folds and soften clogged mucus in the dry throat. Do this three to five times a day or put on a humidifier in your room. If you don’t have a humidifier, cover your head with a towel while you lean over a bowl of hot boiling water. Take deep breaths for 10 to 15 minutes, preferably through your nose. To make the treatment more potent, add a couple of drops of essential oils such as peppermint, lavender, or sandalwood. You can even dip a couple of bags of chamomile tea in the hot water. These herbs are antiseptic and anti-inflammatory and can help speed up your recovery.
Charlie Puth said it, whispering is worse than talking. Be on mute! Carry a writing pad with you for communication and rest as much as you can. Otolaryngologists discourage whispering as it causes damage and strain to your pipes. It requires squeezing your vocal cords together which is more traumatic than normal talking. If you really have to use your voice, try to avoid doing unnatural voices such as mimicry or vocal fry. Your vocal cords are just not made to speak unnaturally and the worst thing you can do is stain them when they are recovering.
Don’t Clear Your Throat
Yup, we are referring to those ah-hums you make. It is our natural instinct to clear our throat because of the mucus. But it actually does more harm than good. How? First of all, it creates abnormal vibration that can increase inflammation in your vocal cords. Secondly, it causes the production of more mucus. This is a never-ending process as you will just want to clear your throat even more. So the next time you want to do so, fight your instinct and just let your throat stay sticky.
Yes, we’ve all heard it before. But not many of us do it. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water every day. This is a healthy ration whether you are recovering from laryngitis or not. And more so if you are trying to get your voice back. Hoarseness is caused by dry throats which can be prevented by drinking enough water, bloated as you are. Hydrating thins the mucus in your throat so it is easier to clear.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
Your voice is a God-given gift. Don’t abuse it or you’ll be sorry! We can’t help infections sometimes, but we sure can help prevent over-straining our own vocal cords. Here are the top 5 tricks for maintaining a healthy speaking voice at all times.
Do not overuse your voice
If you feel a strain, don’t push it. Whether it’s speaking in an unnatural voice or shouting, your body has its limits. Learn to listen to the cues and take breaks in between recording sessions.
Apply all the tips above regularly
That includes tea remedies to not clearing your throat. We might not do it religiously but every little bit is beneficial to healthy vocal cords.
Practice good breathing techniques
When you speak loudly, make sure your voice is supported by breaths deep within your chest. Relying on your throat alone will put great strain on your voice which is damaging over long hours.
Always warm up your voice
You wouldn’t run a marathon without a proper warm-up. Start your day by humming and gradually open your mouth wide to let a sound emerge. Then slowly let your pitch slide from your lowest to highest without any strain. Do this before your speech or recording too.
Though good for your bones, they aren’t too great for your voice. Dairy products coat your throat causing a muffled sound that makes you want to clear your throat more. Which, as we discussed earlier, does more harm than good.
Get Better Soon!
Yes, we know that raspy voice is sexy and hard to come by. But we hope the above tips and tricks on how to get your voice back will work effectively for you. Remember to get plenty of rest and see a doctor if you don’t get any better!