Ask the Expert – Advice for sufferers of postnasal drip
Uma from the UK called to ask for advice for singers with a sinus problem called postnasal drip where a regular drip from the nose to the throat means she has to constantly clear her throat – something we know is not good for vocal health.
Here is the advice we gave:
When someone has postnasal drip, the adverse action normally happens during sleep. The wet/dry/wet/dry drip/breathing process leaves the throat area raw. Much like having a chronic dry throat, the “damage” causes the immunity system to create a protective mucous, the main obstruction to a singer.
We suggest a unique idea that has received great response over the years. Allow a Thayers lozenge or two to dissolve in your mouth before going to bed. The coating and absorption of the slippery elm serves a few purposes:
The absorption creates a lotion, moisturizing quality that combats the drying out.
The coating acts as a “Teflon” type surface, which prevents the drip from sitting around.
And pertinent but unrelated is the anti-acid quality combined with the above characteristics makes for awesome protection to reflux sufferers.
In an emergency, Singers Saving Grace, Clear Voice or Vocaleze are the products to remove the mucous put there. The aloe in those products will give a moisturizing effect while clearing the tone, making it a safe way to clear the natural protection and get through your singing. We would also suggest leaving the organic protection when possible and that minimal and proper throat clearing is okay and necessary to remove infectious properties but don’t over due it, it’s like picking at a scab.