Spicy Foods: Voice Changer?

By NANA O. YEBOAH

You can now let out a slight sigh of relief be- cause your beloved spicy food does not directly al- ter your golden voice. However, the downside is thatspicy foods can cause acid reflux or coughing.
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Spicy food interferes with the qualities of your voice that result from the movement of air across the vocal folds aka, the vocal cords. When you speak or sing, the vocal cords come together and work with the air in your lungs. Any kind of irritation with that air such as the coughing and acid reflux that may come with spicy food can cause hoarseness.

According to the Livestrong organization, hoarseness is most likely to be caused by laryngitis, or swelling of the vocal folds, from an infection or voice strain. Hoarseness may also result from overuse of the voice, lesions on the vocal folds or – rarely – bleeding into the vocal cords from the rupture of a blood vessel. Smoking and allergies may also cause hoarseness, but a common cause of this voice altera- tion is stomach acid reflux.

Spicy foods can make acid reflux worse, and people who have hoarseness from acid reflux are usually advised to avoid spicy foods, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology.

Acid reflux is an extremely painful process that oc- curs with a weakened sphincter which causes im- proper digestion. The acidity of delectable food, and spicy food is one of them, can cause the acid to come up from your stomach into your esophagus and, pos- sibly into the back of your throat. The problem is that this process is very irritating to your vocal cords because it is quite sensitive to acid.

The good news is, acid reflux can actually be treated with various over-the-counter medication. However, in severe cases, sometimes a trip to your nearest pharmacy is not enough and you have to go to a doctor. At the end of the day, no one is saying that you can no longer enjoy the foods you love, in moderation, but you have to be aware of the possible consequences.

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