Game Plan To Protect Your Voice

COLUMBUS, OH — With March Madness well under way, and sports fans in the Yoop celebrating local teams accomplishments, doctors are cautioning fans to pay close attention to their voices. It’s easy to get carried away while cheering on your team, but overdoing it can cause permanent damage. With a game plan to help protect your voice, Here’s ABC 10’s Sarah Mac.

No matter what your sport, the roar of the crowd is part of the allure of the game. But as Nicole Moyer will tell you, cheering too long and too loud, can too often leave you speechless.

Nicole says, “It got to a point where it was so bad where I could physically feel that I was straining and harming my voice.”

It’s a feeling most fans experience at some point, but doctors say if you ignore the warning signs, you could do damage that lasts a life time.

Dr. Arrick Forrest of Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center says, “Anyone who has hoarseness that lasts beyond 12–24 hours should probably go see a physician because hat means you have caused some damage beyond just a little bit of swelling.”

Dr. Arrick Forrest is the director of the voice clinic at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center who has these tips for protecting your voice come game time –

  • If you tailgate, be aware that smoke and alcohol dry out your throat and your voice and increase risk of damage.
  • During the game, listen to your voice and if it weakens, clap, don’t scream.
  • And throughout the day, make sure you drink plenty of water.

Dr. Forrest says, “It’s really about hydration, keeping the vocal cords moist, drinking water during the game and don’t let them dry out.”

If you do damaged to your voice, let it rest and don’t talk at all. Some people try to whisper, but doctors say that can prolong the damage.

“Whispering is even worse than talking,” Dr. Forrest added, “You cause more stress on your vocal cords by whispering than you do just by soft conversational speaking.”

And remember, cold air constricts and dries out your vocal cords faster, so as the temperatures go down, the risk of injury goes up.