Eh HEM! Little Tickle or Big Problem?
My favorite throat clear has to be Imelda Staunton during her flawless portrayal of Dolores Umbridge in “Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix”. The character has this “sweet” way of interrupting everyone. And that’s not that uncommon right? It’s the socially polite way in America to let your speaking partner know you have something to say. The problem is what’s going on in your throat is not so friendly.
When you clear your throat those tiny voice muscles are smacking pretty forcefully. Imagine clapping as hard as you can. Your hands will hurt for a bit but they’ll get over it. But if you were clapping like that all day, everyday, those not so attractive calluses appear. They make your hands rough and you feel like you’re ready for America’s Ninja Warrior. When you think again about those tiny voice muscles, any sort of bumps really impact your vocal quality. You’ll end up with a raspy, breathy and weak voice. Now that might sound perfect for your Halloween Party, but it is not ideal long term. If you feel like you’re constantly clearing your throat ask yourself some easy questions:
Is it allergy season?When was my last glass of water?Have I recently turned the heater on?What’s going on in the house? Any construction or paint projects?
Save your voice from the dreaded habitual cough by increasing your daily water, following a “cough -> swallow” routine and decreasing daily stress as much as possible. Dietary changes may help as well. Of course, if there is any pain or the problem continues to persist, seek a licensed Physician or Speech-Language Pathologist.