How to avoid coughing and throat-clearing?
True, most of the doctors rightly claim coughing and throat-clearing have a therapeutic effect.
The trouble is that for coughing and throat-clearing to be effective, that is, to force the phlegm up your airways and out of your mouth, the coughing and throat-clearing must be intense, abrupt, and in a row. If the cough is single or too weak, the rest of the phlegm is very likely to remain on the walls of your airways, instead of rising up, all the way to your mouth and outside.
But, a too intense and sudden cough, without warming up of your vocal muscles and preparing them for intense contraction, might result in hoarseness, vocal folds trauma, wear-off, and other unnecessary damages. As far as I know, a sudden and intense coughing can even cause bleeding and partial paralysis of the vocal folds!
So are coughing and throat-clearing good or bad?
Since what we care about is first of all your vocal health, we certainly do not recommend such solutions, except in cases of life-threatening suffocation.
Most of vocal disorders occur when you catch a cold. The combination of inflammation of the throat and vocal strain is one of the surest ways to get hoarse.
When you experience a vocal strain, your vocal cords might become red and swollen, which makes it difficult for you to close them. In case you also have a bacterial or viral inflammation, your vocal cords also suffer from infection. When infected, the body secretes increased amounts of phlegm, as part of its natural healing process.
The phlegm makes the voice lose its normal resonation, so it is heard less clearly, and the straining of the cords increase. In such a case, coughing and throat –clearing just scratch and wear off the already irritated cords, so your hoarseness gets worse and worse.
So what should you do?
If you stay hoarse for over two weeks after your inflammation is over, you must treat it very delicately, using appropriate exercises and solutions, in order to prevent it from turning chronic and to avoid the development of ailments in the vocal cords.
Ways of immediately avoiding of coughing and throat-clearing:
1. Preferably, just close your lips tightly in order to overcome the pressure and suppress the coughing.
2. If you cannot resist the pressure, you should try to cough more mildly, minimizing the rubbing of the vocal cords against each other.
3. Other options are having water bottle on hand and taking a sip when you feel a cough coming this will help suppress the cough. Drinking and gargling a little water, and exhaling through your mouth, will help remove the blocking phlegm.
Intense coughing and throat-clearing may redden and swell your cords even without infection, starting a non-bacterial inflammation. Since coughing and throat-clearing always come in a row, the result is a continuous rubbing of the cords against each other, which causes an ongoing irritation. It is exactly like rubbing or scratching a wound, which prevents it from healing.
In acute cases of intense coughing accompanied with vomiting, spitting blood, nausea, long fever, or any other extreme symptom, you must undergo a medical examination to find the cause of it. An ongoing coughing may be the symptom of many disorders affecting not just your respiratory system, the side effect of a medicine, or indicate heart diseases, rheumatology disorders, and so on.
Our physiology, intelligently enough, tries to dispose of infectious phlegm, by forcing it out of the airways walls with an intense and abrupt pressure, and then forcing it out of the body. Since infectious phlegm must not remain in your body, but coughing is bad for your voice, the best you can do is dissolve and remove the phlegm with natural solutions. Our Classical Series essences, Classic Drops (#1) and Classic Spray (#2) are perfect for thoroughly clearing of accumulated Phlegm. Our Oil Essences like the Voice Synergy Oil (#6) and Saline and Oils Spray (#5) enhances this effect, immediately clearing any substance rising up your airways, and in addition, disinfecting your throat area.
We wish you all a healthy winter and a happy new year.
TMRG voice specialist