Healthcheck: Cheering and voice damage

September 9, 2012

Sports fans beware - all that cheering, in the stadium or at home, can do permanent damage to your voice.

Doctors say, just like athletes warm up before a game, armchair quarterbacks need to warm up their vocal cords.

"The worst part is when you are really really quiet and go right into a yell cause your vocal cords aren't ready for that. They're muscles and they need to warm up," said Dr. Arrick Forrest.

For you tailgaters, smoking and alcohol dry out the vocal cords. Remember to drink a lot of water, especially during the game.

Also listen to your voice. If it seems like its getting weak - clap more and cheer less.

If you do damage your voice, let it rest and don't talk at all - not even a whisper.

"Whispering is even worse than talking. You cause more stress on your vocal cords by whispering than you do by just soft conversational speaking," said Dr. Forrest

See a doctor if you're hoarse for more than a day.

Also be especially careful when the weather turns cold, as chilly air also dries out the vocal cords.

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