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There are a number of causes for voice loss (or aphonia.) It could result from something as simple as yelling excessively at a concert or sports game, chronic smoking, allergies, acid reflux, which causes heartburn and stomach acid to irritate your esophagus and vocal cords, laryngitis, which is a common cause of voice loss, contracting the flu, and many other reasons.
However, in most cases, there are always treatments and remedies that will help you fully regain your voice and return to your normal life.
Let’s check out some of the best tips and remedies to help your vocal cords recover from inflammation or irritation and return to their healthy, normal state.
How to Get Your Singing Voice Back?
The most important thing you can do for your voice is to give it a rest and keep the muscles in your throat relaxed. Avoid anything irritating or dehydrating your voice, and drink as much room-temperature water as possible.
- Avoid talking, coughing, whispering, clearing your throat, and anything else that might put a strain on your vocal cords.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to help flush out any mucus that has accumulated in your throat.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol. They cause dehydration.
- Steer clear of smoking and passive smoking. They will cause more irritation to your vocal cords.
- Avoid food that might lead to acid reflux or heartburn. Such as fried food, spicy food, citrus foods, tomato products, and chocolate.
- Use a personal humidifier.
- Medicine. Depending on the case, you might need over-the-counter pain relievers, cough drops or syrup, or medicine that controls heartburn and acid reflux.
- Voice therapy. This is usually necessary when vocal loss results from voice overuse.
If your symptoms persist for more than two weeks, even after trying these remedies, it’s best to seek a doctor.
How to Strengthen your Vocal Cords?
If you’re a singer, you know the importance of maintaining a razor-sharp voice as your main tool. Singing takes a lot of energy and stamina, and you must constantly train it to keep up with the effort required. Especially if you’ve taken a break from singing and need help getting your vocals back in shape and regaining a strong, healthy voice.
Here are some of the most effective methods and exercises to help you strengthen and build your voice and restore it to its peak level.
Warming up your vocal cords is the most important thing you can do before performing on stage or anywhere else. Similar to stretching before a workout, you need to stretch and loosen your vocal cords before using them. The right warm-up exercises will help perfect your tuning, clear your throat, and enable a smooth transition from your chest to your head voice.
Some of the best vocal warm-up exercises include:
- Singing Scales: There are countless scales and ways to sing them. Simply choose a scale like the C Major scale, and start slowly singing up and down the scale to help you perfect your pitch and expand your vocal cords.
- Hums: Humming is an excellent vocal warm-up because it puts little strain on your vocal cords. Place the tip of your tongue behind your lower front teeth and hum up and down your favorite scale. As you do the exercise, you will notice that each note will sound like “hmmm.” Remember to relax your cheeks and breathe deeply from your stomach while maintaining a constant airflow.
- Lip Trills: This exercise is very simple. Take a deep breath and blow air through your lips and nose to simulate a motorboat sound. You can always include pitch slides in this exercise.
- Tongue Trills: Take a deep breath, curl your tongue and roll your Rs while pitch sliding upward, then downward.
- Vocal Straw (or straw phonation): To perform this exercise, take a straw and hum one of your favorite songs through it. You can also hum your preferred scale by starting at the bottom and moving up the scale steadily and evenly.
When performing, using proper breathing techniques is essential if you want to be able to hold long notes without hurting your voice or becoming overly exhausted. Breath control leads to good voice control and strengthening your vocal cords.
Some of these breathing exercises include:
- Singing from your diaphragm: The diaphragm is the primary muscle used for breathing located just below the lungs and heart at the base of the chest that contracts and flattens when you inhale and relaxes as you exhale. We all know that sound doesn’t originate from the diaphragm, but the amount of air being forced out of your lungs is what causes your vocal cords to vibrate. The diaphragm in your chest is in charge of pushing and giving your voice power.
Simply maintain a neutral head position while standing up straight and relaxing your head and shoulders. Exhale to completely empty your lungs. Deeply inhale through your mouth until your lungs are full. Choose a vowel like A or O to sing, and push the air out while sucking your stomach inwards as you sing.
- Breathing Pauses: This low-intensity exercise requires you to keep your head in a neutral position while standing up straight and relaxing your entire body. Slowly inhale through your nose, then exhale through your nose. However, you must time your exhalation to resemble a rhythmic “ha-ha” without actually making the sound.
- Belly Breathing (or exhaling on a hiss): To master this technique, stand up straight and let your entire body, including your diaphragm, fully relax. Count to 5 as you take a deep breath in through your mouth, expanding your belly outward as you do so.
While exhaling, make a hissing “S” sound and count to 9 while completely emptying your lungs.
As you repeat this exercise and your lung capacity increases, start counting to 7 as you inhale instead of 5 and 11 instead of 9 as you exhale.
Vocal stamina training is crucial if you want to sing effortlessly and avoid getting exhausted after a few songs.
Here is one of the best exercises to help you increase your vocal stamina:
- Cardio Singing: While jogging or running, sing along to your favorite songs as softly as you can, using just enough breath to create sound. Running and singing simultaneously improve vocal stamina, lung capacity, and breath control.
At first, singing while running will be a challenge; you’ll probably sound husky and experience voice cracks, but with practice, your tone will clear up, and you’ll build up more lung capacity for better performances.
Vocal warm-ups, breathing techniques, and stamina training are three crucial types of exercises that will help strengthen your voice, perfect your pitch and expand your lung capacity so you can spend less energy and effort giving an amazing vocal performance. The more you practice the techniques we just mentioned, the sooner you develop your vocal skills and build a powerful instrument.
How long can a lost voice last?
What should I drink to have a good voice?
What should you not eat before singing?
What foods help with singing?
Maintaining your vocal health is much easier than you think and should be your top priority if you’re a singer or have a vocally demanding job.
In this article, we covered the most important exercises as well as the foods that will either help your voice stay healthy or harm it.
While it’s important to follow our advice if you want to regain your singing voice, it’s even more vital to listen to your body and give it the rest it needs. Don’t overuse your voice if you’re tired or assume it will return to its healthy state on its own without any effort on your part; instead, take a break, stay hydrated, eat the right foods, and give it the time it needs, and it will return to its normal state in no time.