BALTIMORE, Md (WUSA) -- School has started back and for teachers that means their voices are back in demand. Twenty percent of teachers reported missing work during the school year due to voice problems.
"When you come back you do, you tend to use it a lot more, and your voice tends to get hurt. It kind of gets stressed, and honestly your voice also really kind of gets a little raspy,"
Baker Middle school teacher Christopher Lloyd said.
He knows all to well how strenuous it can be to talk above chatty students. He shared with us his own secret remedies to keep his vocal cords in shape. "I drink a lot of water; I also drink a lot of tea, a lot of herbal tea with honey and lemon."
Doctor Lee Akst director of the Voice Center atJohns Hopkins University Hospital said Chris' remedies are good. People also need to pay attention to dryness or lubrication and watch out for inflammation. These are all helpful preventive strategies for anyone who has a job which requires a lot of public speaking or projecting their voice in a loud environment.
Dr. Akst said, "Teachers often times come in with a form of traumatic lesions, their nodules, the polyps, the cysts that come from repeated vibration of one vocal chord against the other and often times also some functional voice disorders."
Once a teacher notices a problem Dr. Akst said the best thing to do is look for opportunities to rest the voice before it gets worse.
"If it means using your lunch breaks to not speak and allow your vocal chords to recover rather than speaking with your friends in the teachers lounge," Dr. Akst told us.
Christopher Lloyd and his colleagues know there's a full school year of teaching ahead, and a strong voice is just one part of the equation for success.
"if you are not at your best all the time, then you really have trouble managing a classroom, teaching and learning, and really helping kids," Christopher said.
Dr. Akst will host a free educational seminar on the importance of protecting and preserving your voice, and what to do when something goes wrong. The seminar will take place on Wednesday, November 3rd from 7p.m. to 8:30p.m. at Suburban Hospital's Auditorium. For more information or to sign up for event please call 1-877-546-1009.