Waking Up Hoarse? When to See an ENT Specialist

Waking up hoarse?

We’ve all had that frog in our throat first thing in the morning — maybe it’s acid reflux, maybe the result of sleeping with the ceiling fan on, or perhaps the effects of the cold you just got over?

These are all potential causes for an early morning raspy voice, however if that 7am hoarseness lasts longer than a month, it may be time to see your doctor. 

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Treating Fall Sinus Problems

Why Are Sinus Problems Worse in the Fall?

Fall is here! For many, this is considered one of the best times of the year – the leaves are turning, the weather is starting to cool, Starbucks has released its seasonal drinks and the change in seasons means that the holidays are just around the corner.

For others, the falling of leaves means an increase in allergies and chronic headaches caused by blocked sinuses – a potentially miserable part of the year for serious allergy sufferers. Continue reading →

What is ‘Airplane Ear’?

Pain in your ears is just about the worst thing when facing a long journey. Most common on flights, due to the change in pressure during a flight’s descent, earaches can be extremely painful.

This particularly uncomfortable ear pain, often accompanied by partial hearing loss and that feeling as if your head is stuffed into a bucket, is fittingly referred to as airplane ear or Barotrauma.

Everyone has their own solution for the dreaded in-flight earache, but does sucking on cinnamon candy or chewing gum really help?

We’ve scoured the Internet for some of the best and most bizarre remedies for preventing and relieving travel-induced earaches and infection.

 

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SUMMER SUPERFOODS – 7 NATURAL INGREDIENTS TO BOOST YOUR MOOD

Food is all to often a drug of choice to remedy depression. It is comforting, satisfying, and there is something mood-altering about dipping a spoon into an unopened gallon of smooth, sickly sweet cookie dough ice cream. With the first few bites, all of your cares and worries melt away just as literally as the [now half gallon] box of Haagen-Dazs, but what we are ultimately left with is an uncomfortably full stomach and a healthy dose of regret to add to the still lingering depression.

But why always the association of food and depression? Food gives us life, it provides sustenance, and has the unrivaled ability to bring people together… So why not embrace the positives that food brings to our lives and use to enhance our moods rather than keep us on a roller coaster of emotion?

Funny enough, food can actually be more capable of improving our moods than prescription drugs. So the next time you are feeling down, work stress becomes overwhelming, or if you have found simply found yourself in a mental rut, try some of these proven natural mood-enhancing ingredients.

Professional Voice Blog - 7 Foods To Improve Your Mood

For you performers and professional vocalists (that means you lawyers, broadcasters, teachers, politicians, speakers, and doctors with a full day of talking), these foods will not only help your mood, but are voice-friendly and an important part of a busy professional’s diet.

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7 Home Remedies to Clear Congestion

Congestion sucks. It is an inevitable side effect of the cold, flu, or allergies, but luckily it is also easy to combat.

Nasal vs. Sinus Congestion

Nasal congestion is the result of irritated, inflamed, and swollen nasal passages which make it difficult to breath. It may feel like your noses is full of excess mucous, however the culprit is the irritation. Mucous is however, the primary cause of sinus congestion, which occurs when the mucous membranes become irritated and start to excrete an excess of thick mucus.

Common irritants that lead to the excessive production of mucous, and the irritation of your nasal passage and mucous membranes include:

Bacterial infection
Viral infection – Most commonly cold or flu

Allergies

Hay Fever

Upper respiratory infections including asthma
Nasal polyps

Environmental irritants

Sinus Infection
A sinus infection
A head injury
Excessive use of decongestant nasal sprays

An excess of mucous can also cause sore throats, coughing, and ear infection, and worsen the symptoms of upper respiratory conditions like asthma or bronchitis. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult with an ENT specialist.

Congestion can be addressed at home, and often times with great results. Here are some of our favorite go-to methods for clearing congestion at home:

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The Top Professions At Risk For Vocal Trauma

Speaking is a part of our every day lives, but for some, the voice is paramount to your profession. For those of us who rely on our voice for more than the average daily conversation, maintaining vocal health should not be overlooked.

And just like we exercise to keep our bodies fit and healthy, proper diet and exercise is just as important for keeping our vocals healthy. Proper vocal maintenance can help prevent you from losing your voice or a vocal trauma that could sideline you from your job — which can be a hit to both your career and wallet. Just ask artists like Adele and Sam Smith, who have had to cancel major performances and tour dates to treat vocal traumas.

So who is the most at risk?

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Homemade Singer’s Spray

A staple inside recording studios, green-rooms, hotel rooms, and tour buses — singer’s spray is almost always in a vocalist’s arsenal. However, the wrong mixture of ingredients can also mean that your beloved singer’s spray is either a giant waste of your time and money, or potentially harmful to your precious pipes. Averaging between $5 and $25 a bottle for commercial products, and containing a laundry list of ingredients you have no idea how to pronounce – let alone what they do – is a gamble you shouldn’t take with your voice.

Always consult an ENT specialist if you are experiencing chronic or severe throat pain.

Always consult an ENT specialist if you are experiencing chronic or severe throat pain.

For example, some throat-soothing sprays contain alcohol, which can be drying and damaging to your vocal chords and throat, or some sprays (chloroseptic) contain powerful anesthetics in which dosages can be overlooked by vocalists who use sprays frequently throughout the day or extend the use far beyond the recommended dosage. *Always consult a physician before using a throat spray to treat pain, infection, or swelling.

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To avoid potentially harmful effects from commercial throat sprays, do your body and your wallet a favor by mixing up your own natural throat spray. Not only will you be in control of the ingredients, but you can also keep the cost down by making your own and avoid having to drive out of the way to find these sprays at drug stores – all you need is a local grocery store and one shopping trip a week at the most!

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