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Cheering for Your Team Can Harm Your Voice

Football fanatics and baseball enthusiasts, listen up. It's okay to cheer for your team, but do it carefully, because you could harm your voice.
Football fanatics and baseball enthusiasts, listen up.  It's okay to cheer for your team, but do it carefully, because you could harm your voice.

What would a game be like without enthusiastic fans? So it's not surprising that many of these fanatics can lose their voices after a rousing sporting event but now doctors are finding they could be seriously injuring their vocal cords in the process.

"When you use a very loud explosive voice, you can cause significant damage to your vocal cords and that can occur in just one yell," says Dr. L. Arick Forrest of the
Voice and Swallowing Clinic at Ohio State University.

And that can lead to serious damage.
"A single yell will either produce a hemorrhage that will go away, or a polyp that may be permanent, unless you have it surgically removed," says Dr. Forrest.

So how do you know if you've damaged your vocal cords?
"You'll start to hear your voice crack a bit or get a little bit raspy, and that should be your clue that something is wrong here."

And what can you do to save them?
Physicians recommend you keep quiet. Give the cords a rest.
Drink water to keep the cords moist.
If you must cheer warm up your cords before the game.

And doctors recommend once you warm up, yell with one blast, not with a lot of words.
"Yelling and saying words is actually a lot harder than holding out a tone, like a singer would do," Dr. Forrest notes.

If you have hoarseness that lasts 24 hours or longer. It could mean possible problems. You may need therapy or even surgery to correct the problem. It all depends on how enthusiastic you've been.


(Susan Hendricks, for CNN's Health Minute)
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