Cheering For Your Favorite Team? For Crying Out Loud, Go Easy On Your Voice
Fall is a
time of year when many high school and college students will
predictably develop lifelong -- and sometimes irreversible -- injuries
to their vocal cords.
and speech therapists are their busiest during the fall months and most
of the vocal cord injuries they see are preventable, according to Dr.
Arick Forrest, a voice disorders specialist at Ohio State University
uncommon to find nodules or polyps on the vocal cords of people who
have strained or misused their voice," said Forrest. "Some can be
treated with rest, medication or therapy while others will require
directs one of a handful of academic voice centers in the country, says
every fall he will treat a sports fan who loses his or her voice as the
result of vigorous screaming and yelling during a game. It also doesn't
help that the cool, damp fall weather creates a harsh environment for
the vocal cords.
"If they are
lucky, their voice will return with rest and therapy, but some will
have polyps on their vocal cords, which will require surgery."
fans should try to plan five to 10 minutes of ôquiet timeö
during a game to rest their voice. "But if you feel your voice getting
strained or if you hear a 'pop,' stop yelling immediately." He also
advises to be careful how you yell. "When we try to articulate and yell
at the same time -- in other words say words or phrases as you
yell -- that's much harder on the vocal cords than just holding out a
people, however, damage to their vocal cords is insidious and occurs
over a period of time. They associate symptoms such as occasional
hoarseness or a cracking voice with a cold or change of weather when in
actuality they're signs of recurring swelling or irritation to the
can help vocal cords relax and recover from stress, but avoid drinks --
warm or cold -- that contain caffeine, according to Forrest.
Other tips to
safeguard your voice include staying away from cigarettes and alcohol
and avoiding prolonged talking in noisy places.
For more information visit http://medicine.osu.edu