College football weekends can be bad news for your vocal chords and this weekend is a big one for the two state.
Friday night, fans called the Dawgs and chanted with the Gamecock cheerleaders. Many fans will head to the game on Saturday and continue to yell either over loud music at a tailgate or for their team once they take the field.
All this fun, comes at a price to your voice so we went to the voice experts at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University to learn what you can do to help.
ENT Dr. Gregory Postma is the Director and Vice Chairman at the Augusta University Center for Voice and Swallowing Disorders. Dr. Postma points out, the voice is a key tool for more professions than just singing.
“We think construction workers, oh they don’t need a good voice, but imagine the foreman, the contractors, their not just yelling, but they have to project distances over the sound of machinery,” says Dr. Postma.
All of the reporters, anchors and meteorologists at NewsChannel 6 are professional voice users. Preachers, coaches, real estate agents and lawyers are as well. Our careers are more communication focused than ever.
Check out the full interview with Dr. Gregory Postma below
Speech and Language Pathologist Stephanie Reyes says one of the main keys to protection is hydration.
“If your mouth feels real dry and you feel like you have that cotton mouth feeling where things are sticking on the inside, that’s the same thing that’s happening on your vocal chords,” Reyes explains.
Arguably your most defining characteristic is the way you look, but second is how you sound. If your mom calls, you know it is her on the other end of the phone even though you cannot see her because you know her voice. Reyes says your voice is a large part of who you are and she helps patients recover that lost piece of their identity.
“When you have other things go on health-wise, a stroke, a vocal chord injury, an unfortunate neuro diagnosis, your voice changes and so when that voice changes, the way that people perceive you and your identity sort of changes with it,” Reyes says.
Check out the full interview with Stephanie Reyes below
Dr. Postma says, often people are skeptical about the power of speech therapy.
“It sounds silly. I get patients who say, I know how to talk, but it’s amazing! Anybody can go see a speech therapist and improve their voice 10%, 15%, maybe 20%,” Dr. Postma says.
As you cheer on the Dawgs or the Gamecocks this weekend consider going easy on your voice, at least until the big plays.