Health Watch — Holiday Havoc: Seasonal Sounds

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about holiday havoc and how to avoid it. For people who sing, this time of year can be a strain on the vocal cords. There’s caroling, choir performances, special religious services and all the rehearsals that go into preparing for that.

Janis Deane, a speech pathologist who specializes in voice disorders at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says the best thing you can do to keep your voice in shape is stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water — and not coffee or alcohol, which have a drying effect. If you have to do a lot of singing in a short period of time, rest your voice during any breaks you get. Don’t talk or sing when you have the chance to be quiet. You should also avoid smoking and smoky environments. Instead of clearing your throat, take a sip of water. And if you develop a sore throat or a cough, get it treated right away before it develops into something worse.

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December 2008

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