Vocal health during football season

Published: September 12th, 2014

Category: UAD Student Blog

gator football fansWhen football season rolls around each year, you might find yourself with more than just tired feet and a sunburned face after a home game. You could also wake up the next day with a voice that just doesn’t sound quite right.  After all that yelling and screaming, your voice might sound hoarse, rough, or scratchy, and you might even feel some soreness.  Although it may have been for a good cause, you are guilty of abusing your voice. Vocal abuse occurs when a person incorrectly uses his or her larynx (the voice box), especially by using inappropriate pitch or loudness.

After a full day of cheering on your favorite team, your vocal cords may be swollen, which in turn causes you to experience hoarseness.  While a one-time hoarse voice the day after a football game probably isn’t dangerous, repeated misuse can result in more serious problems, such as nodules, polyps, cysts, or chronic swelling of the vocal folds.  In extreme cases, screaming can cause a hemorrhage of the vocal folds.

To avoid the long-term problems and day-after hoarseness that vocal abuse can cause, attempt to reduce the amount of screaming at an event.  Substitute other similar activities, such as clapping or waving pom-poms, to show your team spirit.  Sometimes, despite our best efforts, vocal abuse still occurs.  If you overdo it at a football game this season, there are a few tasks you can do to help heal your vocal folds quickly and prevent future issues.  Hydration is incredibly important for vocal health, so try to drink 8 glasses of water per day for adequate hydration.  If you have a hoarse voice, reduce any talking that isn’t essential.  Eliminating or reducing caffeine intake, alcohol, and smoking will also lead to faster recovery.  Try to restrict over the counter medications that dry out the throat, such as cold medicines and antihistamines.  Finally, increasing the amount of sleep you get will also provide your body with the rest it needs to heal the vocal cords.

So remember, keep cheering on your favorite team each weekend, but be kind to your voice by following these simple recommendations!

http://www.emoryhealthcare.org/voice-center/diseases-conditions/voice-misuse-abuse.html

http://uthscsa.edu/oto/HealthyVoiceCareProgram.pdf

http://www.speakingofspeech.com/uploads/Vocal_Health_Tips.pdf