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Denver Voice Doc Offers DNC Delegates Advice to Hold Onto Their Voice!

2008-08-25 09:00:00

    DENVER, Aug. 25 /


/ -- With the volume on high for the five days of the Democratic National Convention, DNC delegates may want to heed advice from Denver's Dr. Andre Reed, one of the country's leading voice experts, to ensure their voices stay audible and healthy for the duration of the Convention. Dr. Reed is a Denver-based neurolaryngologist and medical director of the Center for Voice & Swallowing Services, and he treats anyone with vocal dysfunction including many actors and singers that struggle to keep their vocal cords healthy for the run of their show or concert tour. Dr. Reed has recommendations for delegates likely to overuse and abuse their most important organ, which is complicated by Denver's dry, mountain air. His advice may help DNC delegates and its presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama from going hoarse or losing their voice at one of the most important times for their Party. For more information on Dr. Reed go to Allow for Altitude and Watch the Martinis The dry, mountain air can cause vocal problems and shortness of breath. To reduce the risk of vocal fatigue and hoarseness, Dr. Reed recommends drinking 64 oz. of water daily. Also, alcohol dehydrates the body and the vocal cords, so it is advisable to minimize cocktails, wine and beer especially at the beginning of the Convention, if possible. Skip Late Night Room Service, and Watch for LPR Even though parties go into the night, delegates who come back to their hotel late and order a snack or the dinner they didn't get to eat may want to think twice. Vocal fatigue may be compounded by not treating Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), a common, yet largely unknown condition afflicting many frequent talkers. "With LPR, stomach gases make their way into the voicebox region and over time they erode tissues and muscles of the throat. Symptoms of LPR include chronic throat clearing, sensation of something in the back of the throat, and voice change or hoarseness," Reed says. Late night eating is one of the habits that can exacerbate LPR and Dr. Reed advises no eating two hours before bedtime to help minimize this risk. In Bronco Stadium Watch the Screaming! Dr. Reed reminds fervent Obama delegates and supporters who will pack the Bronco stadium for Obama's acceptance speech that prolonged screaming overworks larynx muscles and vocal load. According to Reed, "Our screams are meant to be short -- to scare the beast away. Biologically, our vocal cords are set up to scream for only a short period, with breath support. Human screaming was never meant to be sustained and repeated." For Barack Obama, Reed recommends he practice projecting his voice from his abdomen and diaphragm, and combine it with good breath support which will help in not straining neck muscles and voicebox. And of course, Reed recommends that he rest his voice the day of his speech if possible. A Quick Voice Therapy Tip "One simple and practical recommendation for delegates and others attending the DNC and whose voices will take a beating, is 'phonating,' or speaking into a straw for three to five minutes. This simple action will help 'reset' the voice for more durability throughout the day." Professional instruction is recommended.

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