Keys To Avoiding A Strained Voice
It’s important to pay attention to the condition of your voice if you want it to keep on sounding good. Every voice has a different capacity in terms of how far it can be pushed before it starts to strain. If you depend on your voice for a living or you want to develop a career as a performer, you need to learn what your limits are and stay within them.
Dr. Korovin has treated voice strains in famous singers in opera, rock and roll and Broadway as well as politicians at her New York voice practice for over 25 years. She says that after a performance or presentation, it’s alright to feel tired. Your voice should not feel strained or damaged. If it does, your problem may be overuse. It could also be poor vocal technique.
The environment you are performing in can have a big effect. Sound systems vary a great deal, as do the ambient qualities of various theaters and auditoriums. Public speakers, who tend to be less careful about their voices than singers, often prefer talking to groups without a microphone because they feel it makes their presentation more intimate. There is a tendency for those in a back row to ask them to “speak up,” which results in them pushing their voices far too hard.
A microphone is one of the best tools to avoid voice strain. Even if you are using one, you need to have good technique. Some people tend to move their head around in front of a mic, making the sound of their voice rise and fall dramatically for the audience. Developing better microphone technique can make the performance much less stressful on the voice.
When To See The Doctor
A key signal that tells you it’s time to see a voice specialist is when you wake up the morning after a performance and feel you’ve strained your voice, and then find that your pain or hoarseness does not go away over the course of several days. The good news is that Dr. Korovin will often be able examine you and rule out a serious vocal injury, and then recommend a simple course of rest and training with a vocal therapist. Vocal therapy typically runs for 4 – 8 weeks, though in some cases longer courses of voice therapy may be required. The better you comply with the recommendations of a voice therapist, the better your result will likely be.
Muscle tension dysphonia?
Patients suffering from a strained voice may have read about a condition called muscle tension dysphonia and fear that they have it. It’s actually a catch-all term for a range of problems. The fear of it can cause a great deal of emotional distress for an artist.
Strictly speaking, muscle tension dysphonia is a condition where the muscles around the larynx (voice box) become so tight during speaking that the larynx stops working efficiently. It can result in the neck tightening during singing or speaking.
It’s a condition that is often overdiagnosed because it tends to be more of a combination of issues rather than a single mechanical problem. Dr. Korovin is a high-level voice specialist that can provide the most accurate diagnosis for it, and for a wide range of other vocal conditions.