If you are a singer, getting a sore throat from singing is not new to you. Most people think that you only get a sore throat from sweet drinks and treats, but singers know better. A sore throat can be very irritating and painful. It often requires you to rest your voice and wait for it to come back so that you can use it again. In order to learn how you can prevent it from happening, we listed down some of the most common possible causes of a sore throat below.
Sore Throat From Singing
Those who sing for work might treat a sore throat as a regular, normal thing, especially after singing for about an hour or so. However, in reality, this is neither normal nor healthy.
If you are getting a sore throat because of the way you sing, it means that the vocal cords are unnaturally rubbing each other. As such, you will find that the vocal cords get inflamed.
Healthy, normal vocal cords produce a solid and melodious sound. On the other hand, inflamed vocal cords would show gaps that allow air to pass through, which is why your voice may sound unusually airy or hoarse when you have a sore throat. This can last for a couple of days, and, in some severe cases, may stay for over a month.
Simple Ways to Prevent Sore Throat
A sore throat caused by singing is not a natural occurrence. If you do get it after a concert or performance, you might want to see a doctor. He or she will then assess your situation and provide the necessary remedy for this issue.
If you don’t want to deal with this kind of throat problem, or if you want to reduce the possibility of developing one, here are some simple tricks and tips that you can do.
1. Observe Proper Breathing Techniques
One of the reasons why your throat gets irritated when you sing is improper breath support. If you force yourself to hit a high note without proper breath support, you will end up irritating your vocal cords. This is the reason why you have to practice the songs that you will sing in a concert or performance so that you would know the amount of air needed for every phrase in the song.
When you are releasing air while you are singing, you should hold back and do not allow the air to escape all at once.
2. Keep Your Throat Hydrated All the Time
Dryness in the throat can change the quality of your voice, and if you force yourself to sing even with a dry throat, you will surely develop sore throat after your performance. If you feel that your throat is a bit dry, drink plenty of water and make sure that the vocal cords are hydrated. You can also drink warm lemon tea with a bit of honey before you sing.
It is better to make this yourself, though. Don’t buy commercial lemon tea; all-natural ingredients are still better.
3. Avoid Extreme Temperature Changes
You must avoid extreme and sudden changes in temperature to protect your singing voice.
Basically, it will not have a direct effect on your throat, but doing this can lead to flu. As a result, you will have a runny nose, and your throat will become itchy. This will also be the start of irritation, and your voice will become hoarse after a while because of cold and cough. It may last for about five to seven days, so make sure that you avoid extreme temperature changes, especially if the outside temperature is extremely high.
4. Don’t Yell or Scream
This is something that you cannot prevent completely because we usually yell or scream when we are happy or angry. Still, you should be conscious of this kind of thing if you are a singer because unnecessary yelling or screaming can affect your voice. Yelling or screaming is the same as scratching your vocal cords with fingernails, causing damage or irritation on your vocals.
5. Use a Humidifier in Your Bedroom
If you spend a lot of time in your bedroom, it is better to use humidifiers, especially when sleeping. The steam that is released by the humidifier will enter your nose and throat, and it will provide the moisture that it needs. This is very important, especially for people who sleep with their mouths open.
When your mouth is open during the night, the throat will dry out because of the air in the room.
Inhaling the steam coming from the humidifier will make sure that your throat stays moist the whole night.
6. Don’t Drink Cold Water and Sweet Drinks Often
We are not trying to stop you from drinking cold water. You can drink them occasionally, but never drink cold and sweet drinks a few hours before a performance. Drinking cold water and other beverages can restrict your vocal bands, hindering the vibrations required to produce a good-quality sound. Coffee should also be avoided if you have a concert or performance during the day. If you are a coffee lover, skip it for a while because caffeine can dry your vocal cords.
7. Warm Up Your Voice Before Singing
By warming up your voice before you sing, you can prepare the vocal cords for several rounds of singing and prevent damage to your vocal cords, as well. You should try to warm up your voice for about 10 to 15 minutes before you start singing.
8. Don’t Clear Your Throat
As much as possible, do not clear your throat because it can irritate your vocal cords. Instead of clearing it, you just have to drink water and swallow. When something is blocking your throat, drink water to remove it.
9. Avoid Cigarettes and Alcohol
If you earn your living through singing, it makes sense that you should not drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes. Drinking alcohol occasionally is not a big problem, but cigarettes are very addictive. Once you start smoking, it would be very hard to remove it from your system. Cigarettes contain substances that can cause harm to your singing voice. This is also true with alcoholic drinks. A lot of singers around the globe don’t pay too much attention to this, which is the reason why their singing careers don’t last long.
10. Don’t Force High Notes
We’ve seen a lot of singers hit high notes by forcing their vocal cords. Doing this is the same as screaming or yelling, and it would irritate your vocal cords. Sore throat from singing usually comes from this. You can always practice the notes from the song and look for a better technique to reach it instead of just forcing your throat.
1. Does vocal rest help a sore throat?
Yes, resting your voice can help with your sore throat. Eventually, a sore throat would subside as long as you drink plenty of water and rest your vocal cords for a few days. You cannot sing properly anyway, so it is not advisable to use your voice when your vocal cords are inflamed. Also, you should prevent yourself from shouting and yelling.
2. Can singing with a sore throat damage your voice?
Yes, forcing yourself to sing even if you have a sore throat will do more harm than good. Your voice is already hoarse if you have a sore throat, and it will only worsen if you still continue singing. If you have a sore throat, you just have to rest your vocal cords and let it heal. Fortunately, it is capable of healing itself as long as the damage is not too severe.
3. How do I lubricate my vocal cords?
There is no direct way of lubricating your vocal cords because the water that you drink will not pass through the vocal cords or you would choke. The best thing to keep it moist all the time is to keep your body hydrated by drinking lots of water. If you stay in your house most of the time, use humidifiers as it can help provide additional moisture to your vocal cords.
4. What do singers drink to clear their throats?
Most singers simply drink room temperature water before every performance. They don’t drink cold water or carbonated drinks, as these can irritate the vocal cords. You can also drink warm water mixed with a bit of honey and lemon, which is a mixture that is very soothing to your throat.
5. How do you fix a raw throat?
The best and the most effective way to fix a sore throat is by drinking plenty of water. As long as the throat is constantly flushed with water, the irritation and inflammation will start to subside after a while.
It is very common for singers to deal with a sore throat since it is part of their singing careers. They get careless once in a while, but this is very normal.However, if you always get a sore throat after every performance, you should see a doctor to have it checked. This is so that you can be sure that you don't have an underlying condition that needs medical attention.