Good News! You can sing with ALLERGIES | #DrDan 🎤

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

– If you suffer from chronic
allergies then I don’t have to tell you how
frustrating, and at times, how painful they can be. And when you add singing into the mix, you have a recipe for disaster. Is there anything that will help alleviate your allergy symptons, all
while you continue to sing? Let’s find out. (microphone testing) Today’s video is in response
to voice essentials subscriber, Fatima Vinay, who asks, Sure Fatima, that’s what we do
here on the Voice Essentials channel, we answer your questions. And before we deep dive into the subject of singing with allergies,
allow me to introduce myself. For those of you who
don’t know me, my name is Dr. Dan, and I’m a contemporary
singing voice specialist. It’s my job to help you realize the full potential of your singing voice. But it can be hard to achieve your full vocal potential when
your whole vocal track is stuffed up with allergies. So what is an allergy? Well, briefly an allergic response is the immune systems incorrect
response to an allergen. The allergen can come in many forms, pollen, grass, dust mites,
they’re all common allergens which the body can mistake
for a pathogenic invader. The immune response to these allergens is complicated, but the symptoms are not. A runny nose, itchy
eyes, nasal congestion, and an irritated throat
are all indicators that your body may be suffering
from an allergic response. Unfortunately, as you
probably already noticed, many of those symptoms are taking place along the vocal track,
making it nigh unimpossible to sing with freedom and ease. So, what can you do to
manange your allergies and alleviate the symptoms? (microphone testing) Because an allergic response
may take up to 24 hours to resolve, the best approach
to allergy management is a long-term one, as opposed
to reactive strategies, which provide ineffective
relief from symptoms. I always encourage my
students suffering from systemic allergies, to first identify, what are they allergic to. Now this common sense
approach should empower you to make subsequent decisions when forming your long-term strategy. For example, if pollen
is what sets you off, then it’s likely that your
allergies are seasonal and might only require low-level
medicinal intervention. If, however, you suspect dust
mines are the main culprits, the little blighters that they are, then undergoing desensitization via immunotherapy may be more advisable. And you might also be interested to learn that an allergy test can now be done via studies of your blood. I recently had a blood test for allergies, and learned that I have a mild allergy to mold and garden weeds. Now, the garden weeds
are not a big concern because I’m not typically rolling around in my weed-infested lawn,
but it was good to know about the mold because,
our ensuite shower, which is not well ventilated, can get a slight buildup of mold. And the answer, in part, to my allergies, work to keep the mildew buildup
to a minimum in the ensuite. But the best laid plan of mold eradication still require me to take
a daily antihistamine during the late months of
winter and into spring, because, well I can’t remove all the
mold from my environment. The antihistamine that
I take is a non-drowsy, once a day, non-prescription medication. Of course, my allergies are mild. So if your symptoms are at
more severe end of the scale, I strongly advise seeing
your family doctor or your local pharmacist
for personalized advice. Before continuing, allow
me to highlight that most allergy medication are extremely dry. For the allergy sufferer,
this is the better of two evils when you consider the impact that allergies can have on your voice. This being said, it is
important that you double your efforts to maintain
proper hydration levels to counteract the dehydrating effects that these meds will have on your instrument. Now, as we continue,
please take a quick moment to hit the thumbs up button, if you’re learning something new from today’s video. (microphone testing) If your allergy symptoms
include nasal congestion, post-nasal drip or a runny nose, then you might like to consider using a steroidal spray like Nasonex or Flonase. You can use a nasal spray in conjunction with an antihistamine,
but if your symptoms are limited to the nasal cavity, than a nasal spray delivers
the medicinal benefits directly to the point
of allergic reaction. Even better, many nasal
sprays have limited, if any drying effect, which
is much better for us singers. But be careful because
nasal sprays can irritate the throat causing a cough, and even hoarseness for some people. I mentioned earlier in the video that an allergic response can take
up to 24 hours to resolve. This means that any
medicinal response should be administered over weeks, not days. It can take up to five days
for many allergy medications to reach full effectiveness, so don’t just pop a single pill and hope for the best. Especially if your allergy
is seasonal, like mine. I know that some of you
will be concerned by my advice to take antihistamines and use steroidal nasal sprays, allow me to stress that
I’m not keen to see any singer taking any medications that are not necessary or warranted. I would prefer that we were all healthy with no physical ailments. Unfortunately, for some
singers however, the only thing keeping them on stage
and singing is a little antihistamine pill or a
their steroidal nasal spray. Furthermore, I want to
reiterate that any long-term use of any pharmaceutical
should always be done under the strict guidance
of your family doctor, who is best placed to
direct your medical care. None of us should be popping pills at the first sign of a runny nose. Speak to your doctor
first and act according to their professional advice. Perhaps like me, you
suffer from allergies, what do you do to manage your
bodies allergic response? Please share your experience
in the comments section below. Everyone in the Voice Essentials
community looks forward to learning from your knowledge. I’ll catch you in the next
Voice essentials video, I’m Dr. Dan, sing well.

12 thoughts on “Good News! You can sing with ALLERGIES | #DrDan 🎤

  1. I take a daily antihistamine year round for allergies to dust mites and mold. (They're not seasonal allergies.) The antihistamine definitely has a drying effect and thickens the mucus so that it's more challenging to clear – I try to counter that by staying well hydrated and using a humidifier during the winter months – but it's better than the alternative of trying to live with the symptoms.

  2. Hi Dr. Dan, I've had very good luck with saline nasal spray during allergy season. I keep a bottle of it in my shower as well as in my car and on my desk at the office and use it frequently as I believe it's just salt water and it tends to clear out my nasal passages and dry out the mucus. Thanks for the video and information, it's always appreciated.

  3. On the rare occasions that I take an over the counter allergy medication,
    I use a children's liquid type. This way, I can easily titrate for smallest dosage.

  4. As a retired RN, BSN, I figured, on my own, using this system of liquid children's allergy
    medication, as I wanted the lowest effective dosage to preserve my voice.
    I only use @ night.

  5. Hey dan why doesn't my vocal range increase ? I've been doing scales and going up comfortably but is always get stuck at f4#, sometimes I can hit an g4 (even an g4#) but my voice usually breaks at f4#. Why is this? I've been singing for 10 years but I started takin lessons two years ago and my vocal range still doesn't increase

  6. Hey, I found your account a few days ago, and I really like them. I'd like to ask, if you could make a video on creating rasp, not rlly that extreme hardcore rasp, but just a "nice" one like sia's or adele's. That would be very nice and helpful:)

  7. I find, like Karyn said, you really need to be on top of your hydration to (hopefully) keep the mucus running and not congealing. I cannot take an O.T.C. antihistamine because they give me some heavy duty nosebleeds.

  8. it's sooo amazing this channel.. i watch a lot of videos about singing and i realñy love your videos .. only one recommendation..I suggest that you can add subtitles in spanish… I believe that you will reach more people who really needs to know your helpful videos.. thank you for all of this.. c:

  9. Can I sing with laryngitis due to pollen? I’m assuming no, so I’ve been on vocal rest for 2 weeks now but the laryngitis is still there 🙁

  10. So I have scratchy slight pain when singing now, since late june and I don't know why. I don't feel it when I talk but when i sing i do. IS it allergies?

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