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Love Isn't All That's In the Air -Allergy Management

Are you like me? Looking forward to spring, excited about warmer temps, admiring the blooms and beautiful colors around you, but suffering horribly with seasonal allergy flare-ups?

You are not alone. 

This is a frequent report and complaint in the voice clinic right now! While every person’s body and response to this is different, there are things that can be done to reduce symptoms and manage the day-to-day vocal response.

While allergies do not cause vocal injury per say, they do certainly lead to inflammation and swelling that is persistent and affects the voice.

The more global inflammation and swelling we experience in our pharynx (throat) from acute or chronic sinusitis and allergies and the resulting symptoms we experience including post nasal drip, itching, irritation, excess mucus production, coughing and throat clearing make recovery difficult due to the cyclical nature of the trigger and our response. Frequent throat clearing and coughing in response to the trigger we feel can actually perpetuate this cycle by making our delicate vocal fold tissues create more mucus to protect itself and the cycle keeps going on and on and on.

Also, if every time you get an allergy flare up you lose your voice or have quite noticeable impairment, it may suggest there could be some underlying low profile baseline swelling on the vocal folds. Or there could be a functional component to the impairment. This can only be sussed out with the help of your doctor and voice care specialists.

Please seek help from your doctor and voice care team about how to optimize treatment and minimize your symptoms. This may be temporary during the seasonal changes or may be something that you need all year long. This blog post is meant to help you know what options you may have available to you. For a more individualized advice of cost and benefits for you it's time to call in your voice care team.

Medical management:

Holistic/homeopathic management and options:

  • Saline rinse or spray for sinuses and nasal passages

  • Neti-pot

  • Vitamins to support immunity like Vitamin C and D3

Hydration management options:

  • Isotonic saline nebulization

  • Adequate hydration from drinking water and other non-caffeinated beverages

  • Electrolyte replacement

Voice rest and care:

  • Rest voice as needed if you notice vocal fatigue, increased swelling and/or loss or higher range

  • Short, frequent vocal exercise on SOVTs and RVT (Resonant Voice Techniques) to help mitigate swelling

Lifestyle and Nutrition:

  • Adequate sleep (7-8 hours)

  • A balanced diet and nutrition for your body’s individual needs

  • Regular physical exercise

  • Reduce time outdoors during flare-ups to minimize exposure to environmental triggers

Summing Up:

You do not have to suffer yearly without help for how allergies affect your voice. Whether you decide to manage allergies through medication, lifestyle, smart voice use planning or holistic remedies be sure to be well informed and get a handle on your options. It can time to figure out what works best for you, your body, and your voice. Don't be afraid to reach out to your voice team for help when symptoms are bothering you.

***Please note that the above is not meant to serve as medical advice or treatment suggestions for you specifically, but rather to give an overview of your options and give you insight on how to make decisions for yourself and how to communicate with your doctor and voice care team.

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