Today Brisbane is covered in a cloud of dust. This combined with a low humidity of just 26% at the moment, could leave you feeling as if you have a dry throat. Here are some helpful tips to get you through these dusty times!
1. Stay hydrated and rest!
The best way to combat low humidity is by staying hydrated. Research tells us, that for most humans, the ideal amount of water we want to intake daily is 30ml per kg that you weigh. Of course, this differs from human to human, but staying hydrated puts us ahead of the game! Even in karaoke singers, when Yiu and Chan put amateur karaoke singers to the test, giving some hydration and vocal rest, and the others no hydration and no rest, the singers who were hydrated and had the chance to rest could go for longer (2003).
2. Get your steam on!
Mahalingham and Boominathan published a study in 2016 that shows even just 3 minutes of rehydrating the voice through using a steamer can improve voice quality! Simply boil the kettle, fill up your steamer (or use a clean travel mug), and sip the steam. It's that simple!
3. Stay inside if you can with doors and windows shut.
If you have to go out, consider using a surgical face mask if you have one, or drape a scarf of bandana around your neck to cover your mouth with, and keep the dust out of your airways - including your nose! That's where your inferior turbinate lives - you know, the puffy tissue covered in nose hair that you can see when you look up your nose? That humidifies the air on the inhale, so keep your nose loosely covered when you are out and about in dust and pollution to help keep particulate matter out of there.
4. If you have a humidifier, use one!
Still have a humidifier from that time the kids got croup or a really bad flu a few years back? Well, get it out and dust it off! If you humidify the air in your home, office, or workplace it will help keep you hydrated by helping your body lose less water just by breathing. Canstar Blue have a great article on which type of humidifier has less bacteria, and how each humidifier type works. So if you are in the market for a new one, check out that article before you go buying.
5. Breathe through your nose!
As already mentioned, the inferior turbinate is what humidifies our air in our body, so if you have the chance to sit quietly today doing your cross-stitch, or word jumble, or piano practice, breathe through your nose and put your body to work for you.
Stay safe today, and remember, if you are experiencing troubles breathing, please get medical care, or dial 000 in an emergency!
Anita Marie Martin
Director/Chief Strategician/Singing Teacher