Allergies can have serious affects on a singer’s voice. Similarly, because the human voice is a very delicate instrument, the effects of allergies can cause a number of vocal complications such as cracking and soreness to the vocal cords. Therefore, it’s important for singers to take every reasonable precaution to care for their voice so that it will function at maximum potential. In this brief post, Vocal Coach Jason Catro offers five tips to help singers avoid injury, strain and fatigue during allergy season.
I’m sure many of you reading this have already had your annual date with seasonal allergies. I usually find this happens with me each year in late April or early May. No matter what part of the world you live in, there are typically some sort of allergens that sprout up ready to take aim at our pretty and pure voices. Head colds, stuffy noses, clogged and cluttered throats are just a few of the pesky little irritations that can bring big heartache to any singer. Most of us have to sing on through this clutter and pray for it all to clear up. Oh, how nice it would be to have the ability to cancel shows or recording sessions when these things happen. Life just doesn’t allow it to be that easy.
Now, I’m not a doctor or a nutrition specialist, but I am a life-long allergy sufferer, singer, and vocal coach. So, if you are wondering what I do to help clear up these issues, then this blog may help relieve some of your stress. Here are a few pointers:
1. Sleep – As with any daily routine and especially when the immune system gets attacked, you need rest.
2. Water – Water is always your friend; try and cut out caffeine, sugars, and alcohols.
3. Food – I always cut back or cut out glutens, dairy, and sugars. These carry specific allergens that can make the situation worse.
4. Exercise – Take your training inside during your allergy flare-up. The pollens and molds will only make things worse. If you do an outside sport, then shower right after to wash off the allergens.
5. Go Natural – I always go see a nutritionist or visit my local Whole Foods for natural remedies to help fight off the allergy attack.
These are just a few steps that I take every year to help me get through the allergy season. It’s never fun, but I have managed to turn it into a game to see how quickly I can win. If your allergies are so severe that you can hardly function, then consider seeing a doctor who can diagnose the specific things around you that are causing the problems. In the end, good physical health will help ensure good vocal health.