Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Voice Damage Need Not Sideline Football Fans

Football games sometimes result in terrible injuries – and they’re not always on the field.  Injuries can take place inside the throats of screaming fans at the stadium, in sports bars, or even at home watching TV with friends.  According to leading voice expert Renee Grant-Williams, sustained yelling can brutally tear up a fan’s vocal cords resulting in damage that may persist long after football season is over. 

“Whenever anyone yells repeatedly, it puts severe friction and pressure on their vocal cords.  An enthusiastic fan risks becoming hoarse, losing their voice or even developing nodes,” says Grant-Williams.  “Nodes are like calluses, they form on the vocal cords to help protect them from strain.  However, nodes get in the way and keep the vocal cords from fitting together cleanly, causing the voice to become hoarse and unpredictable.  Over time, these nodes may require surgery.”

Grant-Williams offers several suggestions for voice protection during football games:

1) Dress appropriately.  Layer clothing so the layers can be removed or added as needed.  Fans attending the game should take a warm scarf to protect the throat.

2) Drink plenty of fluids.  Limit beverages that dehydrate, such as alcohol and caffeinated drinks.

3) Eat smart.  Eat a good balance of protein and carbohydrates.  Limit the intake of salty foods like salted nuts and chips.
4) When expressing support for your team, breathe low and support the yelling by contracting your lower abdominal muscles.  Do not scream from the throat.

“Just as in football, the best defense for the voice is a good offense,” says Grant-Williams.  “Don’t wait until the damage is done to take precautions.  Even though it is normal to be enthusiastic during a sports event, think twice before yelling too much.”
This link will take you to an amusing response to this blog article. 

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