Teachers, it's time to take care of your throat!

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.