Allergies and other vocal irritants

Almost every state in the US is on fire somewhere this summer.  Denver has been in a haze for weeks.  Eyes are watering, and they aren’t the only parts of us feeling scratchy.  Many of us have scratchy throats and voices as well.  If you suffer from dryness in the air, allergic reactions to summer pollen, or the effects of smoke in your area, here are some things you can do:

1. Use a room filter/purifier, especially where you vocalize and sing.

2. Use your car air conditioner and be sure to recirculate the air. Open windows are nice, but expose you to those environmental hazards.  If you have a house air conditioner use it to recirculate and filter the air.

3. Sip a water solution that is laced with, dare I say it, sugar or honey. You can even add an exotic nectar such as papaya, mango or peach.  This coats your throat and protects it from drying influences in the air.

 a. Solution: 1 tsp sugar/honey to 12 oz water

b. 1 part nectar, sprite (non-caffeine), berry juice to 2 parts water.  Never use citrus or caffeinated drinks.  They strip the chords of their natural lubricant and dry them out.

4. If you are very close to the smoke and have a hard time breathing, wet a bandana with water and tie it in front of your nose and mouth like an old western bandit. This filters the smoke so you don’t inhale so much of it.  And get out of there!

5. With allergies, see an allergist and get the best treatment available for you. Many drugs whether over the counter or prescribed, are very drying.  Be sure to include Guaifenesin (Mucinex) in your regimen.  Sometimes that alone is enough to alleviate some of the problem.  If it’s really difficult to sing, try ONE Sudaphed (Suphedrin), but be sure to consult your doctor on all over the counter meds before using them.  Increase your water intake with any allergy medication.

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