By Lin Parkin
May 20, 2014
Do you live in an area prone to wildfires?
Californians are bracing themselves for one of the worst wildfire season on record.
According to The Associated Press, The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection have been called out to more than 1,500 fires already this year. That's more than the entire average season of about 800.
Although the worst hit so far, California isn't the only location suffering from wildfires. High temperatures, low humidity and gusty winds have set the stage for blazes in Oklahoma, San Diego, Texas, Arizona, and British Columbia.
For people who use their voices professionally the effects of smoke and poor air quality can be hazardous not only their respiratory system but their careers as well.
What effects do wildfires have on your voice? How can you protect yourself? Join VOX Daily today for some tips.
Even if you don't live in the immediate vicinity of wildfires the smoke and poor air quality they produce can affect you even hundreds of miles away. Breathing in the smoke form wildfires can cause shortness of breath and a sore, raspy throat affecting the sound of your voice and the ability to speak comfortably.
As a voice-over performer it's important that you minimize the impact the air quality has on your respiratory systems and vocal folds as much as possible. There are a number of things you can do. Here are a few recommendations.
1. Stay Hydrated.
Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Try to get in your 6-8 glasses a day. Lukewarm to room temperature water is best.
2. Mix Up Some Honey Lemon Water.
Drinking warm honey lemon water will coat and soothe your throat. You could also try adding honey and lemon to decaffeinated tea, if sipping water isn't your thing.
3. Use a Humidifier.
Dry air will produce a dry throat. A humidifier you will put moisture back in the air. Thirty percent humidity is ideal.
4. Try a Nasal Rinse.
The smoke from fires can cause allergy-like symptoms and Postnasal Drip which irritates the throat. Your best defense against a stuffy nose is to use a nasal rinse, such as a Neti Pot.
5. Drink Throat Coat.
Throat Coat is an herbal tea concoction that many voice professionals sip on for temporary relief of throat irritations.
6. Wear a Medical Mask.
If you have to venture outdoors and live near a wildfire location, wear a medical mask to prevent irritants from entering your throat and respiratory system.
If you're looking at the possibility of being evacuated from your area, make sure you have reliable ways that you can still record your voice. Call on a voice-over pal or connect with a recording studio in another area so that you don't miss out on any work.
Do you have any other advice not covered in this article? We'd love to hear from you. Please comment below.
To all those living in affected areas, keep safe. To the brave men and women battling the blazes, your courage is is unparalleled. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
All the best,
©iStockphoto/f00sionRelated Topics: Protecting the Voice, Tips, Vocal Health, Wildfires