Allergies & Your Voice
How Do Allergies Affect Your Voice?
Allergies cause pale, boggy swelling of the vocal folds and can cause the voice to be rough, hoarse, or gravelly. Typically, patients with seasonal allergies will notice a change in their voice during the season that affects them; fall and spring when weed and tree pollen are in high counts are common times that vocal cords can swell. Additionally, postnasal drip onto the vocal cords can cause excessive throat clearing that can lead to vocal injury. Indoor allergens, such as dust mites, can cause a hoarse morning voice or scratchy throat. Allergy testing can tell the difference and immunotherapy (a way to eliminate allergic reactions that works similar to a vaccine) can help singers to optimize their performance during allergy season as well as eliminate drying antihistamines that may interfere with more demanding singing schedules.