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Candidates Risk Harming Voice in Final Week to Super Tuesday
Date:1/30/2008

ditional hydration is recommended -- 64 oz. daily, beginning 2-3 days before traveling to altitude. Additionally, taking more frequent breaths during speeches will reduce vocal strain.

Create Humidity

"Humid conditions are preferable to dryer ones for the voice, as the moist air helps keep the vocal cords hydrated, flexible and less susceptible to injury," says Dr. Titze. "It always helps to keep dry air -- like in Colorado and Arizona -- healthier by using a humidifier."

Straw Speak

"One simple and practical recommendation for candidates on the campaign trail, and others whose voices take a beating, is "phonating," or speaking into a straw for three to five minutes," Dr. Titze explains. "This simple action will help 'reset' the voice for more durability throughout the day." Professional instruction is recommended.

Short Screams

Fervent candidates and their supporters should be advised that prolonged screaming overworks larynx muscles and vocal load and can harm vocal cords. "Our screams are biologically meant to be short with breath support -- to scare the beast away. Human screaming was never meant to be sustained and repeated."

Skip Late Night Room Service

Vocal fatigue may be compounded by Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), a common, yet largely unknown condition afflicting many frequent talkers. "With LPR, stomach gases travel into the voicebox and erode the tissues and muscles of the throat. Symptoms include chronic throat clearing, sensation of something in the back of the throat, voice change or hoarseness," Reed says. To minimize the risk of LPR, it's important to avoid eating two hours before bedtime.


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SOURCE Center for Voice & Swallowing Services
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