For teachers, one of the most important part of their careers, is their voice. Throat problems are an occupational hazard of being a teacher. And since there is a lot of stress on their throat from their daily teaching and disciplinary activities, certain precautions should be taken to save their voices.
Here are some instances that may warrant a visit to the ENT specialist if growing worse. They may occur due to voice overuse, throat infections or even illnesses:-
Regular and/or unexplained voice loss.
Voice quality going hoarse or croaky for more than 10 days.
A weak and tired sounding voice.
A sensation in the throat that feels consistently painful or as if there is a lump.
Frequent need for throat clearing.
Here are some suggestions that teachers can follow for keeping their voice and throat in optimal condition, whether it is for teaching or everyday use:-
Teachers can start their day with a salt water gargle and warm up their voice with vocalization exercises. Hissing and humming helps stretch the vocal cords.
They should consider the effect their voice needs to have on their listeners and make use of pauses and silence to emphasise the meaning of words and sentences.
They should take time to relax and let their voice recover after prolonged speaking. Having a warm drink can help soothe the vocal cords.
It is important, especially for teachers, to drink lots of water. Drinking six or eight glasses a day will help keep the larynx moist, especially in hot dry atmospheres.
Dairy products can cause over-production of mucous around vocal folds and must be avoided if the throat feels blocked.
If there is a nagging ache in the throat, don’t keep trying to calm it down with pain reducing lozenges. The pain is a sign of need for rest, and hence needs total attention.