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Cold, Flu and Sore Throat Season - How to Help Reduce Or Eliminate

4th October 2019

Voice Tip Series/Blog - 6

Cold, flu and sore throat season is fast approaching again. Try to eliminate them by treating them AS SOON AS you feel a tickle at the back of your throat. If you miss this part, you may still be able to reduce the length of them. 

Get a decent nights sleep or several! I know for some this is easier said than done, so try shifting your priorities where you can. The more rest and good quality rest you can get whilst you are fighting off any bugs, the better. You need your energy to let your body fight off the bugs in your system.

Increase your water intake to remain hydrated. Educators and those speaking all day, make sure to have a big bottle of water on your desk and keep taking sips throughout your sessions. You should be doing this on a daily basis, so make sure if you are not already, start now and continue! You want to make sure that you are hydrated BEFORE any days when you are speaking a lot - so for professional voice users - that's every day. Why? Because your vocal mechanism needs to be hydrated properly to function optimally. 

Eat healthily and if you feel the need, stock up on vitamins. If you feel particularly run-down regularly, I do recommend an appointment with your GP here first, rather than just taking random vitamins you may not need. If you're mostly well and just want to check what may be useful, go to see your local pharmacist for a chat about what might help you. I tend to stick with as natural as I can get with most things. Do some research of your own as each body is different and should be treated as such. Give it some tender loving care (TLC)!

I have a personal favourite. I would not actually call it my 'Yummy' go-to as I still dislike the taste, even years on! My personal favourites for knocking out throat tickles in their early stages are:

  • Ginger (grated into a pan) and boiled up for about 20 minutes or so with slabs of lemon, made into a tea. I add Manuka honey once the tea has cooled a little.
  • I also use an Echinacea and Sage throat spray which I find pretty good if I catch a cold in time!

Do read the advice labels on anything you wish to try to check if they are suitable for you. If in doubt, speak to a medical professional.

There are many more things I want to write here, but I like to keep them readable. Very quickly;

  • Things like keeping your hands washed regularly and not touching your face so much also help.
  • Additionally, try to stop the spread of colds by simple things like covering your mouth if you sneeze. If you get caught short without a tissue, sneeze into your arm rather than your hand as you then touch door handles!!!
  • For some reason, some people think they are saving the world when they go into work when they are sick - nope, your just making others sick and spreading your germs even more. Stay home and give yourself some TLC and everyone else!

A Word of Caution

Many people ask me about throat lozenges and my suggestion very careful. I speak from experience.

I very rarely use any myself as I feel its a bit like giving pain killers to a runner with an injured leg so they can get through a race. After the race, their leg hurts even more as they were not feeling the pain going through their body at the time and they over-exerted. They then miss the actual final race as they were too sore to run and their coach told them they would do too much damage if they continued running.

With voice, it is the same. I have been off work and ill in bed with a throat feeling like I had swallowed razor blades and taken a painkilling lozenge about once in the last 10 years. I was then able to eat a little food and sleep again. BUT I WAS NOT TALKING AT ALL as I was so sick. As soon as I was back to speaking again, no more lozenges. You need to make sure you are aware of the pain in order for it to heal quicker. Incredibly frustrating, yes, but if you can't feel your throat you are also unaware of any further damage you are doing. There is a lot more to discuss here and situations are all different. If you really need to speak and your voice is struggling with a cold, get in touch with me. If I can help I will and if not I will likely know someone who can!

If you would like to enhance your communication skills, get in touch if you would like more specific help. Throughout October 2019 I have spaces available at discounted rates for those in teaching positions - give me a call to find out more!

For more information on the services I offer in relation to this or other posts, please contact me to book your Voice Work Consultation. 

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