How To Protect Your Voice While Wearing A Mask


Sunday, October 25th 2020, 9:44 pm
By: Tevis Hillis


OKLAHOMA CITY -

While wearing a mask in public spaces is recommended by health officials, it can be difficult to be heard if you’re talking while wearing one.

"If you are not using very good vocal strategies, then you could be putting more strain on your voice when you are wearing a mask,” Norman Regional Hospital speech language pathologist Dr. Taylor Stewart said.

Officials said they have not seen an increase in any voice disorders since people began to wear masks, but people tend to speak louder under their mask. This can increase the chance of injuring your voice.  

"You do run a risk if you are straining or speaking too loudly to develop a vocal nodule, to become hoarse. Those are diagnosed by a doctor," Dr. Stewart said. “Usually, it is going to be longer than two weeks if you are feeling hoarse pain, if you are sounding scratchy or rough."

The strain on your vocal cords while wearing a mask is not permanent. Dr. Stewart said it is important to keep hydrated along with other remedies.

"Speaking with really good breath support (and) decreasing the space between you and the person you are talking to,” Dr. Stewart said. “Also, making sure you are confirming they are understanding the words you are saying. Using more body language. Using your hands to talk.”

For those who spend the entire day in communication, voice breaks can help with stressing your voice.

"You are going to want to take as many frequent small voice breaks as you can," Dr. Stewart said.