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Always hoarse

Here’s what helps frequent speakers

The cold season can put a strain on the voice. Classics from the pharmacy relieve coughing and hoarseness. Regular voice and breathing training will strengthen your voice in the long run.
Marta Campbell
11.01.2022  16:00 Uhr

When your voice is gone or a constant coughing irritation is a disaster, especially for people who have to speak or sing a lot professionally. During the cold and flu season, infections of the upper respiratory tract threaten the voice. Symptoms such as acute hoarseness to loss of voice are then accompanied by cold signs such as throat clearing, coughing, a scratchy feeling in the throat, fatigue and possibly also fever.

The discordant sounds from the mouth occur when the pathogens attack and inflame the larynx. The vocal folds swell and can no longer vibrate so well. At first, the voice croaks, and if it is over-strained, it can even disappear altogether. If this happens, it is best to put on the brakes early and help your voice get back on track quickly with the right treatment and appropriate behaviour.

In the case of voice disorders, sufficient moistening of the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat is essential. To relieve hoarseness, sore throats or coughing when out and about, tablets and lozenges that form a moisturising protective film on the stressed mucous membranes are particularly suitable.

A classic are plant extracts containing mucilage, such as marshmallow (as in Phytohustil®), rib-wort (as in Plantago® cough syrup), primrose root (as in Ipalat® throat lozenges) or Iceland moss (as in Isla Moos®), which are available both to suck and to take. Pastilles and lozenges stimulate the flow of saliva and thus moisten the mucous membranes particularly well. The water-soluble polysaccharides contained in the extracts act as mucilaginosa and form viscous solutions that act as a protective film on the mucous membranes in the mouth and throat, protecting them from at-tack and irritation.

Protective layer

The body’s own substance hyaluronic acid also acts as a moisture reservoir and moistens stres-sed mucous membranes. In GeloRevoice®, when it comes into contact with saliva, it forms a hydrodepot together with the gelling agents xanthan gum and carbomer, which lays a protective layer over the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat and relieves sore throats and hoar-seness. The tablets are available in different flavours and are approved for children from the age of six and adults.

Hyaluronic acid is also contained in tetesept Anginosan® throat tablets and in isla® med akut and isla® med voice in addition to the special herbal extract of Icelandic moss. The combination of Iceland moss and the hydrogel complex is said to provide particularly long-lasting moisturisation. Lozenges with dexpanthenol (as in Panthenol® tablets, Anginosan® Throat & Cough Lozenges) reduce inflammation in the mouth and throat area. The substance also has a moisturising and wound-healing effect, helping to regenerate damaged mucous membranes.

A good tip for people with high speech stress is also salt solutions. They moisten and cleanse the mucous membrane of the throat and pharynx. There are saline preparations for sucking (as in Emser® pastilles), gargling (as in Emser® salt) or spraying into the mouth (as in Emser® throat spray). Preparations for inhalation can also be enriched with essential oils (as in Salviathymol®, Eucabal® Inhalate). A steam bath with medicinal herbs that have a mild disinfecting and an-ti-inflammatory effect, such as sage or thyme, also moistens the respiratory tract, promotes the removal of mucus and thus relieves the symptoms.

Please do not whisper

To make yourself heard despite an affected voice, it is advisable not to speak louder, but instead to pronounce the words particularly clearly. Correct breathing and posture also help to use the voice as gently as possible. If your voice is affected, it is better to speak softly instead of whispe-ring. Whispering does not produce any sounds, but the vocal folds are very tense and are strai-ned accordingly. Clearing your throat is also not a good idea. The purpose of the throat-clearing reflex is to get rid of foreign bodies or mucus, but it also puts a lot of mechanical strain on the vocal apparatus.

Physiotherapy and speech therapy can help to reduce the increased coughing that makes life difficult for people who talk a lot when they have a cold. Doctors can prescribe measures such as voice training according to the remedies catalogue for voice, speech and language therapy, which is then best carried out by a speech therapist who specialises in voice therapy. In the case of throat clearing and coughing (irritation) in the context of lung diseases such as asthma and COPD, the doctor can prescribe respiratory therapy. Respiratory therapy devices that patients can use independently at home (such as GeloMuc®, Covidien VRP1 Flutter™ respiratory therapy device) can also be prescribed under certain conditions. The devices support the loosening of mucus in the airways in acute and chronic respiratory diseases.


Deutsch/German Englisch/English
Atmung breathing, respiration
Befeuchtung moistening, humidification
Flüstern whisper, whispering
Gelbildner gel former, gelling agent
Halstabletten throat lozenges
Heiserkeit hoarseness
Husten cough
Hustenreiz cough irritation
Hyaluronsäure Hyaluronic acid
Inhalieren inhale
Körperhaltung posture, body posture
Lutschen suck, sucking
Rachen throat
Räuspern clear one’s throat
Reden speak, talk
Schleimhaut mucous membrane
Schutzfilm protective film
Sprühen spray, spraying
Sprechen speak
Stimmbänder vocal cords
Stimme voice
Überlastung overload, overloading
Vielsprecher frequent speaker

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