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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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past 5 years, but recently my throat has been feeling very tired

Resolved Question:

My job requires me to talk almost non-stop on the phone for about 8 hours a day. I've had no problems for the past 5 years, but recently my throat has been feeling very tired, mostly on the right side. And to the point of my voice breaking. I've tried lozenges & herbal tea, which help temporarily. But what can I do to rid myself of this problem? My livelihood depends on my voice. Thanks for your help.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.
Do you have acid reflux?

Or nasal congestion?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No, neither.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.

Well, voice strain is a common reason for hoarseness.

Often times -- treating underlying conditions which can contribute to laryngitis -- can help prevent this hoarseness due to inflammation.

But when the hoarseness and strain come from overuse of the vocal cords -- the best therapy is simply voice rest.

Use of lozenges that may "numb" up the back of the throat also does not help things, but rather masks your symptoms, and may make things worse.

Keeping well hydrated and the air well humidified is a strategy often used to help. Avoiding medications that can dry the throat (decongestants, antihistamines) also will help to optimize your voice. And perhaps investigating a more sensitive microphone for your headset/phone will help, as it will allow you to talk at lower decibels at work, further "saving" your voice.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I'll try drinking more fluids & look into a humidifier. Are there any over the counter throat sprays or other topical things you can recommend?
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.
Well, most of these "sprays" that are over-the-counter tend to "numb" up the throat (Chloraseptic is one) -- and these, over the long term, can actually hurt your voice quality, so it's long term use is probably not the best idea here.

By far -- the most important is voice rest. And keeping yourself well hydrated - with water, tea, etc.
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