Do Allergies Affect your Voice Over Work?

This is a public service announcement. Close your doors and windows. Get yer sunglasses on. Shove a finger full of vaseline up yer nose. It’s hay fever season and whilst everyone else (…*sneezes) is lolling the freshly mown grass (…*blows nose) having BBQs, I’m dressing up like an atomic bee keeper just to take the bins out.

Now look, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not the worst allergy to overcome. I fear life as I know if would come to an end if I suddenly developed an allergy to chocolate, or chicken wings, or gin. But I can’t tell a lie, it dobs mape libe bery dibbitult as a boice ober arbisd when you bar congesbed all the dime. Roughly translated, I’m stuffed. The sinuses equivalent of a mozzarella stuffed crust pizza, if you’re after a particularly unattractive metaphor. But less tasty, I would imagine.

I’ve suffered with progressively bad hay-fever over the past few years having not had issues with it as a child and have favoured various concoctions of over the counter remedies to sort it out so as not to trouble my doctor. Everyone gets hayfever, right? I’ll be fiiiiiine. It’s not a big deal. Don’t be a ‘drama queen’…

Well no. As it turns out. This year things have gotten serious. Having sneezed myself into veritable unconsciousness due to the sheer energy each expulsion wrenched from my body on one too many an occasion, I decided enough was enough and I crawled to the doctor. It wasn’t just unsociable and embarrassing and unattractive (snotty tissues do not a successful flirting attempt make, as Shakyspeare once writ…) it was starting having an effect on my work. Doc was nice. Didn’t think I was a div for asking for help. And lo and behold, there is a special spray that special people get when nothing else works. A fortnight in and I’m finally getting my face back. And am no longer contemplating approaching Kleenex* for sponsorship.

*Other tissues are available, Sainsbury’s** basics do the trick actually…

**Other supermarkets are available, I like my local ‘Save to Save’*** store actually…

***Other local stores are avail…ok, this has gone too far.

I guess the moral here kids is don’t suffer in silence. Get to the darn doctor and sort it out. You have to be careful with over the counter remedies anyway when you’re voice focused. Antihistamines are known to dry out the vocal chords, as do decongestants if you take those for an extra clear headed boost. Plus they can both make you drowsy, which leads to bad vocal habits or injury due to lack of physical support. So be careful out there!

Anyone voices out there got top allergy beating tips they’d like to share? We are all ears. Slightly bunged up, popping, itchy ears…

Bicolab Dedmab (*blows nose)


You can find out more about Nicola at her website.

Nicola Redman

Nicola is a Northern Irish voice over artist and voice actor based in the UK. She works from both her home studio and studios across London on commercial, corporate and character voicing. When not talking to herself like a mad eejit, she performs solo and sketch comedy across the UK and enjoys writing, cookery and all things voice.