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Having an excess of mucous is frustrating especially when you’re singing. To remedy this problem, you should find the best treatment and determine what causes your excessive production of mucous. If you are in urgent to get rid of the mucus immediately (perhaps you will have a singing performance in the next few hours), you must try the breathing and soft cough techniques I have described below.
What Causes Excessive Mucus?
Typical causes of the excessive production of nasal mucus include allergy, non-allergic rhinitis, structural abnormalities, and infection.
Many people suffer from sinus or mucus problems in their whole life, and it affects their singing skills. The mucous congestion starts in your nose and slowly makes its way down to the vocal folds or even in your lungs.
Diet is another factor that increases mucus production in the voice. Anything that causes dehydration can have an impact on your voice, such as dairy, spicy food, and artificial sweeteners. If you care for a good voice, then, you should determine what works for it and what destroys it. You’ll notice that some students suffer from too much mucous when they eat a cheese pizza in a week’s time while others don’t feel anything. Remember that when you experiment, the voice is different from the body.
Quick Solutions for Singers with Excessive Mucus
1) Breathing Technique
Relax all your muscles, and then after exhaling, hold your nose and your breath until it becomes uncomfortable for you. Remember to breathe only through your nose after holding your breath.
After releasing your nose in this process of breath holding, inhale a bit instead of having a large inhalation. This is especially true if you’re having a sore throat. When you take a small inhalation, use your diaphragm or abdominal muscles, and then relax all your muscles immediately. After that, take another small inhalation using your abdomen and relax afterwards.
To get rid of your old phlegm and mucous, reduce your breathing. In every breath, take only a smaller amount of air than you usually do. Inhale only through your nose, use your abdominal muscles, and keep your chest muscles calm. After doing it, you can relax all your muscles completely.
The goal here is to make a shortage of air for 2-3 minutes. You can eliminate the phlegm naturally through this breathing technique. It’s almost 2-10 times faster than doing conventional techniques.
2) Soft Cough
One way to relieve from coughing is by drinking warm water. The advice of doctors is to drink warm water to reduce an interference cough. The purpose here is to lessen the burden of irritation in the respiratory tract. This way, phlegm would easily exit. Drinking cold water is not advised by doctors because it can stimulate your cough especially if the cause of your cough is allergy. Try to cough up mucus softly. You can do that by coughing up slowly and softly without pushing too much air through your throat.
When you cough with phlegm, you can treat it by drinking a lot of lemon green tea or chicken soup since it thins the mucus and relieves you from respiratory congestion.
3) Lemon Juice
Lemon juice or a glass of warm water with lemon juice is beneficial to wash down the excessive mucus. The lemon acid can break down the thickness of the mucus or phlegm.
How to Avoid Having Mucus? As A Singer…
Hydrate Your Body Consistently
The wrong belief of many people is that singers should drink water before singing to flush down the phlegm. It’s right to have a bottle of water available when singing or speaking for many hours. However, the reason for having water is to hydrate your body constantly.
Prevention of mucous and coughing with phlegm is all about regulating your diet and lifestyle. The first step is to drink a lot of water daily. Make it a habit of filling your bottle of water every morning, and have it finished at the end of the day.
When you hydrate your body, the tendency for the mucous is to become thin and watery. This way, it will easily flush down and reduce your burden. But when your body lacks water, it will not protect your delicate tissue and results to the thickening of the mucous that protects the lining. Thick phlegm is what causes the problems in singing. Clearing it the traditional way would only grind the folds together that will result in more irritation. Remember that you cannot sing well with an irritated throat!
When you have irritated folds, you will have difficulty in singing to reach the register shifts. Then, you also lose your vocal balance, and experience more irritation!
Avoid Fatty & Dairy Foods
Watching your diet is also a good prevention for this case. Don’t eat fatty foods, high sodium, sugar, soda, fast food and fried foods because they push your body into the protection mode. Just take some fruits, green vegetables, fish and lean meats to keep your body healthier and less prone to mucous on the folds. If you have allergies, avoid eating wheat or wheat gluten because it increases the production of mucous.
Don’t Scream, Shout & Speak Loudly
Don’t shout or scream too much and avoid vocal horseplay if you’re a serious singer. It’s important to learn what your body needs and doesn’t need. As a singer, you must preserve your health and your voice as well. Take care…
Shouting, screaming, speak loudly or any activities that will cause exhaustion to your vocal cords are forbidden, especially during the performance day or just several hours before the vocal performance. Your throat will automatically reproduce mucus or phlegm to hydrate/lubricate your vocal cords. And it sometimes will cause mucus problem to your voice when it developed to the extent of excessiveness.
How to Know Is Your Voice Affected by Excessive Mucus?
- You will feel it’s more challenging and uncomfortable to vocalize through scales if you have excessive mucus a.k.a phlegm on your vocal cords. And there are several symptoms you can look for if you feel like that your vocal cords are laden by the excessive mucus.
- Your singing voice isn’t smooth as usual.
- Your tone is unclear and feels like it has been filtered out by something.
- You are unable to get into the mix voice beautifully despite in your tessitura range, and you pushed through the notes very hard and unnaturally.
- You are unable to sing in the head voice and feel something stuck on your vocal cords. Your voice is slightly broken in the high notes.