This has been going on for over a year.  I went to the doctor and ENT.  They say there is nothing wrong.  They have me on Allergy Med, Asthma med (even though I don't have asthma), acid reflux med and 120mg Pseudoephedrine.  Not only do I do occasional VO, I work in radio, A night club (no smoking in this state) and I run a Mobile DJ biz with weddings nearly every weekend.  I have been in this same routine for Years.  My throat feels like the beginning of a soar throat, but it just stays that way...EVERYDAY.  I am constantly having to clear my throat and It goes from being hoarse to almost GONE.  It is really bothering me since this is what we all do.  

Any suggestions on something to drink, take. 

I stopped all caffeine soda's, propped my head up a little while I sleep, I do still drink coffee in the morning, but I only do one cup. I drink a lot of water and I've tried Throat Coat Tea...  I'm lost.

my email is foxfeltman@aol.com

thanks guys.

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Fox:

First off, clearing your throat actually isn't a good idea - both it and coughing can actually stress your vocal cords in a very bad way. The natural need to do that usually indicates a post-nasal drip of some kind which your ENT should have caught if it existed. If you're not producing results (aka hackin' up goo), it's more likely a habit, and one you should get out of straightaway.

The meds you mentioned - the allergy stuff and pseudoephedrine/Sudafed in particular, and possibly the asthma stuff if you're using an inhaler - can indeed reduce nasal congestion and open your head up, but from my experience, can also really dry you out. I'd next suggest getting off those for a while if you can, and seeing what happens. 

Third, that's quite a workload you have there. How much sleep are you getting, and how much talking do you do in a day? Not only do throats and vocal cords need time to rest and repair, but entire bodies do too, and I mean real, honest sleep. 

I used to work myself silly with VO all day and well into the night for days on end, and one day noticed my voice started to suffer, and it got worse fast. Once I cut my workload back to more human-like hours and started getting at least something resembling regular full night's rests, things got way better. To this day, if someone presents me a big job at the end of the day, even if my voice sounds fine, I try to defer it until the next morning because I know I'll eventually reach a point of diminishing returns, which does no one good...plus, you really need to have a life outside the studio once in a while anyway. 

Do you live or regularly visit a high altitude or dry climate, or a place with a lot of air conditioning? If so, the cold dry air and lack of humidity could be a factor. Ever tried running a humidifier in your home and workspace, along with keeping the thermometer up so the moisture doesn't evaporate as fast? If it works backstage for Mariah Carey and all those other R&B divas, it might work for you...just remember to load up on anti-perspirant. (NOTE: I just looked at your profile and saw you're on the Carolina coast - tons of heat and humidity there, at least in the spring/summer, so I'm betting A/C running everywhere's a factor). 

On a related note, any chance you snore a lot, or have sleep apnea? Those can certainly dry out and mess with your soft palate and irritate your airways and throat. Aforementioned humidifiers help the former, and the machines they give you for the latter have a water chamber which could deliver moisture and provide a restful healing sleep.

One of the contributors to sleep apnea is increased body weight. If perchance you're gaining weight, the fat accumulating in your neck could be causing your vocal/palate structures to shift and touch your tongue more often, which could be momentarily blocking your airways causing a reflex sensation leading your throat clearing. Obviously, if this is the case, the next step is...yep, simply lose the weight (a lot of people cure their apnea just by doing that). 

So many people recommend herbal "throat coats" and/or honey lemon teas, but I don't like them because the mint and lemon in them does the exact opposite of what's intended and actually DRY my mouth and throat out!

What works way better for me, but is an acquired taste for many, is REAL black licorice candy....and NOT the stupid fake waxy Twizzler stuff, including the black version. Try either an Australian rope version like Daryl Lea's (again, the black one, not fruit flavored), or nearly any of the salty northern European varieties from Sweden, Finland, or Holland, which I recently discovered and now swear by. In fact, I just bought literally 4 pounds of the loose Dutch stuff several days ago in advance of the upcoming fall/winter, when I know the radiators in my building will be on constantly and dry me out severely. Even though the salt can dry you out too, they use a different chemical form of it in these (it's actually an ammonia salt - and it's not as gross as it sounds), and the natural licorice extract encourages salivation, moist mouths and happy throats. In fact, I actually use a Dutch sea salt licorice as my secret weapon for loud sessions, and I absolutely detest overly salty stuff, including doctor-recommended saltwater gargles.

(Side note: all in the above paragraph can be blamed on Paul Strikwerda, though he'll deny it completely! Be careful if you go this route though, as too much licorice can raise your blood pressure, cause you to retain water, and lower your sperm count....otherwise, enjoy!)

Oh, speaking of gargling....that's bad too, in the same way as clearing throat/coughing. Plus, if you're doing it with an antiseptic or alcohol-based mouthwash, you're making matters worse, as they make your throat and mouth drier. If you must gargle with something, do it gently and quietly, and with something vocally beneficial. 

Another option to try are homeopathic sprays like Entertainers Secret or VocalEze, found online and in some music stores. They're convenient and actually effective, but also pretty expensive - a 1 ounce bottle of VocalEze runs around $10, so you'll run out quick if you use it a lot. The active ingredients in these are usually glycerine and licorice-based, so it's actually far more economical and just as effective to get a pound of good licorice instead, which runs $9 a pound at the high-end Broadway Dean & Deluca store here in NYC and probably a bit less elsewhere (you can also find places online that sell it for roughly the same price with shipping, but I'd recommend scouting out somewhere local you can sample them first, like a specialty European food store or high-end candy shop....you'll probably find the Finnish Panda brand most easily, and it's a good one to start with as it's not too crazy-tasting, and even a tad chocolatey). 

I feel like I'm leaving something out, but try all the above for now and see what happens, and let us know how it goes!

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