Dr. Milan Amin, Director of NYU Voice Center and Chief of Laryngology at NYU Medical Center is available to talk about Catherine Zeta-Jones losing her voice while on a promotional tour for her new film. Dr. Amin often treats patients who abuse their voice on the job and can speak to who is at risk, symptoms, and treatments of voice hoarseness.
People who overuse or use their voice improperly are likely to develop nodules on their vocal cords which can cause one to "lose their voice." "If you don't have good proper speaking techniques and you are involved in a situation where you need to travel a lot and speak very often, you can easily lose your voice." Another factor that can contribute this problem is airplane travel because cabin air tends to be very dry. Additionally, traveling on a promotional tour can place people in situations such as parties where one needs to raise her voice to be heard. Sufferers of voice hoarseness can likely have some underlying poor technique for speech which puts them at risk for losing their voice.
Dr. Amin is in San Francisco (10/20-10/23) attending a voice conference and is available for interview.
Eight Tips for Good Vocal Health
1. Clearing your throat vigorously can cause damage to the vocal cords. Drink water to clear the mucus in your throat.
2. Use other ways of getting attention such as clapping or moving closer to others when speaking. Avoid yelling, screaming, and talking in noisy places and events such as parks and little league games.
3. During workouts, breathe slowly and avoid grunting.
4. Maintain moisture in your throat. Stay away from cigarettes and drink plenty of non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic beverages. Cigarettes, alcohol, and caffeine will dry your throat.
5. Don't forget to take a breath! Speak slowly and breathe often. Avoid squeezing out the last few words of a thought without sufficient breath.
6. Use soft voices and cut out the "special effects." Whispers, extremely high/low pitch sounds, motor noises can all put undue stress on vocal cords.
7. Rest. Give your cords a break! When feeling tired or suffering a cold, the less talk, the better.
8. Consult your doctor if you experience throat discomfort or hoarseness for more than fourteen days.