Wednesday, 24. November 2010

Sopranos find: Nebulised saline makes singing more effortless

The influence of dry vocal cords on the intonation effort was investigated in 34 professional singers.

As part of a dehydration challenge all study participants inhaled dry air (relative humidity <1%) through the mouth for 15 minutes. Subsequently the sopranos were asked, if singing after this challenge was more straining for the vocal cords. Study subjects reported significant results: dry air led to a distinct increase in felt phonatory effort.

This procedure was carried out on three separate days. Directly thereafter the singers received either nebulised sterile water or isotonic saline or no treatment. Nebulised sterile water proved ineffective: just like in the untreated control group the vocal cords remained invariably impaired during the 120 minutes observation period. However, the sopranos inhaling isotonic saline could sing more effortless directly after the nebulisation: the phonatory effort rapidly returned to the baseline values seen before the dehydration challenge.

Tanner 2010 Opernsänger 

The musicians could sing more effortless directly after the nebulisation of isotonic saline: the phonatory effort rapidly decreased to baseline values found before the dehydration challenge.

Source: Tanner et al. (2010) J Speech Lang Hear Res. Epub ahead of print