Your throat is aching, you have no voice, and worst of all- you can't sing. When you try to sing, you cannot hit those high notes like you used to. Your range has diminished and your throat is killing you. You might have even lost your speaking voice. If this describes how you're feeling, read on….
What Is Vocal Fatigue and How Can You Tell if You Have It
If you are wondering why your throat hurts when you sing, the answer may be vocal fatigue. When the muscles and tissues of your voice box are overused, they can become strained and inflamed, causing pain and discomfort.
There are a few key symptoms to look out for if you think you might be experiencing vocal fatigue:
- A hoarse or raspy voice
- pain in the throat
- loss of range
- loss of volume
- fatigue after singing or talking
- difficulty projecting your voice
In some cases, you may also experience a feeling of tightness in the throat or a tickling sensation. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it could be an indication that you are suffering from vocal fatigue.
What Causes Vocal Fatigue?
There are a number of different factors that can contribute to vocal fatigue. Some of the most common causes include:
Overuse of Your Voice:
If you use your voice too much, it can become strained and inflamed. This is often the case for singers who perform multiple shows in a row or who have to talk loudly for extended periods of time.
Dehydration can cause the tissues in your throat to become dry and irritated, leading to pain and inflammation. This can be a particular problem for singers, who rely on their throats to produce clear, powerful sound.
Fortunately, there are a few simple steps that can be taken to help prevent dehydration and keep your voice in top form.
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid rises up into the esophagus, the tube that connects the throat to the stomach. This can cause a burning sensation in the throat and lead to inflammation.
Acid reflux is often made worse by lying down or eating certain foods, so it's important to be aware of your triggers and take steps to avoid them.
Allergies can also cause inflammation in the throat, leading to vocal fatigue. If you are allergic to something that you are inhaling, such as dust or pollen, it can irritate your throat and make it difficult to sing.
How To Prevent Vocal Fatigue
There are a few simple steps that you can take to prevent vocal fatigue and keep your voice in top form.
1. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration is one of the leading causes of vocal fatigue, so it's important to make sure that you are staying hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can dehydrate you.
2. Avoid Yelling and Screaming
Yelling and screaming puts a lot of strain on your vocal cords, so it's best to avoid doing it when you can. If you have to yell or scream, try to do it from your diaphragm instead of your throat to minimize the strain on your vocal cords.
3. Rest Your Voice
If you feel like your voice is getting tired, take a break from using it for a while. Avoid speaking for long periods of time or singing for extended periods. Take some time to rest your voice every day, and you'll be less likely to experience vocal fatigue.
4. Try A Herbal Tea
Herbal teas can help to soothe your vocal cords and reduce inflammation. Try drinking a cup of herbal tea before you sing or speak for extended periods of time. Throat Coat tea is often praised for its soothing and inflammation-calming properties.
5. Use A Humidifier
Dry air can be hard on your vocal cords, so using a humidifier in your home or office can help to keep them healthy. Make sure to use a cool-mist humidifier to avoid irritating your vocal cords.
Herbal Teas that Help Soothe the Voice
Throat Coat Tea
- 1 box containing 16 sealed tea bags
- Made from licorice root and slippery elm bark
- Vegan, non-GMO; sweet, with an earthy taste
- Naturally soothes sore throats
- Packaged in Sebastopol, California
This tea is made with a blend of herbs that are traditionally used to soothe the throat. The main ingredients are licorice root, slippery elm bark, and marshmallow roo
Lemon balm Tea
- Calms the nervous system and supports digestion.*
- Non-GMO Verified. All Ingredients Certified Organic. Kosher. Caffeine Free.
- Consistently high-quality herbs from ethical trading partnerships.
- Taste: Pleasantly mild, with subtle citrus notes.
- Case of six boxes, each box containing 16 sealed tea bags (96 total tea bags).
Lemon balm tea can help to reduce inflammation in the throat and calm the nerves. This makes it a good choice for people who have a lot of throat pain or who get nervous when they speak.
- Calms your nerves and supports healthy digestion.*
- Non-GMO verified. All Ingredients Certified Organic. Kosher. Caffeine Free.Fire-Resistant
- Consistently high-quality herbs from ethical trading partnerships.
- Taste: Fragrant and floral with honey notes
- Case of six boxes, each box containing 16 sealed tea bags (96 total tea bags)
Chamomile is a very calming herb, and it can help to reduce inflammation in the throat. This makes it a good choice for people who have a lot of throat pain or who get nervous when they speak.
Recipes for Herbal Tea Blends that Help with Vocal Fatigue
Everybody knows how beneficial lemon and honey are for soothing a sore throat. This recipe takes it one step further by adding in some herbs that will help to improve your vocal health.
1 lemon, sliced
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon licorice root
8 ounces water
1. Add all ingredients to a pot of water and bring to a boil.
2. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 10 minutes.
3. Strain and drink as needed.
This tea is great for soothing a sore throat and helping to improve your vocal health. The lemon and honey are both great for soothing a sore throat, while the thyme, rosemary, and licorice root all have benefits for improving vocal health.
Thyme is an expectorant, which means it can help to clear your throat of mucus. Rosemary is an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Licorice root is one of the best herbs for soothing a sore throat and improving vocal health. It is an expectorant, so it can help to clear your throat of mucus. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help to reduce inflammation in the throat.
An Additional Trick When Singing To Stop You From Hurting Your Throat
Here's an additional trick that can help when you're singing: instead of thinking about going up when you hit a higher note, think about going down. This may seem counterintuitive, but it can actually help to prevent you from straining your throat.
By filling your first note and then staying closed as you go down into the higher notes, you'll be less likely to injure your vocal cords.
Of course, this isn't the only method for protecting your throat when singing; warm-ups and proper hydration are also essential.
But if you find yourself struggling to hit those high notes without pain, this little tip just might help.