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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Voiceover 101: Contending with the Misery of Seasonal Allergies

Read two lines.  Sneeze.  Read two lines.  Sneeze, Sneeze. Read two more lines…

Sound familiar?  The editing on this recording is going to be a nightmare, and you are undoubtedly cursing your family for passing on their seasonal allergy genes.  This is a tough time of year for many voice actors and actresses.  The sneezing, coughing, dry throat, and itchy eyes can make studio time more than a little frustrating.  Worse yet, for some, allergies also cause asthma symptoms, making it extremely difficult to read through a script without gasping for air. 

So, what do you do to put an end to the allergy symptoms?

There are plenty of over-the-counter medications that can be used to treat seasonal allergies.  Don’t be turned off if one of them doesn’t work for you.  The beauty of having several different options is that some may work better for you than others.  However, do read the box or bottle over thoroughly.  Some may cause drowsiness, which would be problematic in this line of work.  Also, in some areas of the country, the allergy medicines with decongestive properties are only found behind the pharmacy counter (for safety reasons).  However, those options can be best for reducing the nasal sound in your voice caused by allergies, so it might be worth asking.

If you simply can’t handle the antihistamines, then consider an anti-inflammatory medication.  You may be surprised to find just how much ibuprofen can help reduce your symptoms, because it will reduce swelling in your nasal passages and airways.  It can even help reduce discomfort in your eyes.

If you are looking for an all-natural solution, there are many recommendations to be found.  A teaspoon of local honey per day is said to stave off allergy symptoms.  Likewise, you can use peppermint oil in a diffuser if you want to naturally break up congestion.  Hot tea (particularly chamomile), lemon, and ginger are also said to help battle congestion and inflammation. And then there's Organic Throat Coat Tea. As a final tip, consider pampering yourself before entering the recording studio.  It has been found that facial- and hand massage can help reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies.  Concentrate on the area over your sinus cavities, when massaging your face.  This can literally help break up congestion.

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