Do you often find your voice cracking at the end of a long shift? Have you ever been in a situation where you were forcing your voice out just to reach the end of the call? These are early symptoms of sore throat. When you start to feel a little ache in your throat, take action immediately. Don’t let it go on for too long or your voice would be suffering a whole lot more.
In a study made by researchers from the University of Ulster in the U.K, 25% of call center employees has had a work-related sore throat, loss of voice or breathlessness. This was based on a 600-respondent survey among call center agents from 14 different centers in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It was noted that in this study, women are at the most at risk when it comes to these throat problems.
As a call center agent, it is best to avoid sore throat. The constant use of your voice can lead to a multitude of problems if not taken care of properly. So, as early as now, it’s time to take care of that throat.
How to take care of your voice
Here are some tips on how to take care of your voice.
- Keep Hydrated
– One key factor in taking care of your throat is to keep it moist all the time. Have a bottle of lukewarm water ready on your desk to drink while you’re taking calls. A few sips can go a long way. Never let your throat be parched. Remember that the recommended daily intake of water should be at least 3.7 liters for the average adult male and 2.7 liters average adult female.
- Pace yourself
– Always maximize your breaks. According to dukehealth.org, there are three types of breaks that we should take while we are taking calls:
- Breaks within phone calls
- Make your monologue be a dialogue. Let the customer reply to you once in a while. In a call, it takes two to communicate. Even though it’s quite small, taking a second to take a break from speaking during a call can make a difference in the long run.
- Breaks between phone calls during the work day
- In between calls, avoid talking too much. Let your voice rest. When given that 15-minute break or 1-hour lunch, take the opportunity to be silent. Your throat will thank you later.
- Breaks between work days
- If you feel that your voice is tired after a long day of work, don’t add to the stress by doing activities that can strain it further. Karaoke, yelling at a sports event and several others should be avoided if you want to preserve your voice.
– Honey is naturally good in preserving moisture. Mix fresh and organic honey to a cup of warm water. Make several cups so that you can drink it at least 2-3 times a day. It can help in preventing soreness. It can also have other health benefits such as preventing cancer, reduce ulcer and other gastrointestinal disorders and many more.
– Gargling with salt water is said to be the best way to moisturize and disinfect your throat. It can also be a good first aid procedure when you feel that your throat is starting to itch. Gargling can also be an effective and cheap way to remove bacteria.
- Warm fluids
– The best kind of liquid to drink if you would like to maintain your voice is warm drinks like tea or juice. They can moisturize your throat better. Keep in mind that caffeinated drinks and alcohol is not recommended if you have a sore throat. They can worsen your condition.
– One of the main reasons why the throat is not hydrated is the lack of saliva in our mouths. A good and quick way to increase the amount of saliva is to chew unsweetened gum. Avoid eating sweet gum because they can add to the dryness of your throat.
– Lozenges are what doctors usually recommend when dealing with throat dryness. They are cheap and very accessible in most convenient and drug stores. They act fast and can be a good quick solution to relieving the ache in your throat. Certain mint flavored hard candy can also be a good option if there are no lozenges. As long as they are not too sweet.
- Proper hygiene
– Bacteria only goes to places that are not clean. Make sure that you are always clean to avoid infection. Brush your teeth regularly. Don’t smoke. A side effect of smoking causes huskiness to the voice that can eventually lead to cancer. Also, avoid excessive coughing and throat clearing. The more you stress your throat, the drier it will be.
- Inhale steam
– Take a clean bowl and pour a pot full of freshly boiled water in it. Wrap your head and the bowl with a clean towel. Make sure that your face is about 11 to 12 inches away from the bowl. Breathe the vapor through your nose. Do this for about 15 minutes, 3 times a day. If you feel any discomfort while doing this, you should immediately stop and consult a doctor.
- Don’t modulate your voice too much
– It’s best that we use our natural voice. We should not modulate it to appear deeper or higher than it should be. This would add additional strain to our voices. Also, we should keep our volume at an appropriate level. Shouting can add significant tension to the throat.
At the end of the day, prevention will always be better than cure. So start with the little things and take care of your throat.