Signs of Vocal Distress


Did you spend the weekend partying at the triplex and singing along to songs at the highlighter pause dance? Did you shout at a sporting event and feel vocally rough afterward? If your voice is generally healthy and flexible, here’s a recovery recipe.

  1. Rest the voice as much as possible for 2 to 3 days.
  2. Drink 2 or 3 liters of water, depending on your size. Drink no alcohol or coffee.
  3. Breathe steam for 5 to 10 minutes, 1 to 2 times each day.
  4. For 1 to 2 minutes every hour or two throughout the day, use one of the following exercises.
    1. Light, easy humming on a medium tone or on pitch glides up and down.
    2. Light, easy oooh through a straw in medium- to high-pitch range.
      Note: Do not force the voice. If it’s hard to make sound, stay quiet.
  1. No weight lifting or heavy labor that involves holding your breath at all.
  2. Excellent self-care in general (healthy meals, moderate exercise, prayer/meditation, and good sleep).
  3. See a laryngologist if you experience any of the following:
    1. Voice disappears in an instant
    2. You feel pain in your voice or throat
    3. There is no improvement in 2 to 3 days
    4. You’re voice doesn’t return to normal in 10 to 14 days

Everyone wants a magic pill to make hoarseness disappear. All you can do is follow the above guidelines and make problems disappear from your future life – by preventing them before they start.