Ah, the nose.
It is the only externally visible part of our respiratory tract. It is also the primary air route into the lungs (those of you who mask under your noses take note).
Structure and Function
The interior of the nose is covered in small hairs and both it and the nasal cavities are coated in mucous (the good kind). The purpose is to remove as many impurities as possible and warm the air before it goes deeper into the system. It also provides moisture to the pharynx which is the passage to both the respiratory system and the digestive tract. These impurities, sometimes infectious, often remain within the nose. But, they don’t necessarily get us sick if we practice good hygiene and the overall load doesn’t get too high. The nose is also the path to our olfactory node, in other words, our sense of smell.
These are things that are good to take into account as one functions in a human body. Covering one’s nose when sneezing or coughing is incredibly important even while there isn’t a pandemic. Washing one’s hands thoroughly (or hand sanitizer in a pinch) after touching the nose or mucosa also very important. And, carrying an extra mask in case you sneeze and need to replace the one you are wearing.
These behaviors can keep us healthier. Which in turn makes certain that your natural mucous doesn’t change character in order to protect you from infections within the system. These altered mucous materials are very detrimental to the vocal folds causing swelling and irritation that lead to vocal faults and sometimes voice loss. Add one pandemic and the stakes get much higher as respiratory problems are evident even in people who showed no symptoms while infected with COVID19.
The offering today is to mind your nose. It is important to the safety of others but especially to your own.
This Friday at 12:30 pm EDT, Gina will be live on FB. These will be short voice alignment sessions aimed at voice skills building. Watch it on the GROW Voice FB page. I hope to see you there.
Gina Razón is the principal voice specialist at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service voice and speech studio in Boston’s Back Bay. She has over 16 years of experience both as a teacher of voice and speech, and a voraciously curious voice user. Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker. For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit www.growvoice.com.