Steam Inhalation Case Study

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INTRODUCTION Caring for our voice is a process, that requires vigilance to protect an identity based characteristic from becoming seriously injured. Vocal folds require moisture in order to work efficiently. One must have more than enough water for our system to handle so that our vocal folds will remain well "hydrated". The introduction of warm and moist air, by means of steam inhalation, into the lungs through the nose and the throat allows clearance across the vocal tract and thereby ensures relief from congestion and oedema. This study aimed at assessing the benefit of vapour based hydration on acoustic measures of voice, with an objective to see the immediate effect post steam inhalation. NEED: There is a dearth of information with…show more content…
The participants recruited for the study group were normal healthy individuals and non professional voice users, without any history of vocal abuse/misuse, smoking, neurological & hearing problems. Instrumentation: Dr Speech software was utilised for the study. Phonation samples were recorded under two different conditions: baseline recording after mouth breathing (dehydration), and voice analysis immediately after 5 minutes of steam inhalation via the mouth (rehydration). Parameters noted for each recording condition were: Fundamental Frequency, Jitter, Shimmer and NHR (noise to harmonic ratio). Procedure: Step 1: 5 cycles deep breathing for Participants to induce environmental dehydration condition. Nose clips were utilised to prevent nasal participation. Step 2: Phonation based voice analysis using Dr Speech software. Step 3: Plain water based steam inhalation using a facial steamer (mouth breathing only). Step 4: Phonation based voice analysis using Dr Speech software. Voice analysis was carried out in a sound treated room in a single setting for all the subjects. Analysis: The recorded voice samples were analysed using Dr Speech software and 4 parameters namely Fundamental Frequency, Jitter, Shimmer and Noise to Harmonic Ratio were…show more content…
Thereby the results obtained at the end of this study account for an improvement seen in the four vocal parameters considered for the study. Fundamental Frequency, Jitter, Shimmer and Noise to Harmonic Ratio were noted to have improved post steam inhalation, indicating mucosal rehydration and ability of the vocal mechanism to participate for phonation more efficiently. Study carried out by Selby and Wilson (2011) report improvement in Phonation Threshold Pressures post steam inhalation, indicating that hydration of the vocal folds improve not only vocal mucosa but rejuvenate the entire vocal mechanism. Mahalingam & Boominathan (2016) carried out a similar study based on steam inhalation and noted improved acoustic vocal parameters when compared to baseline, hydrated and dehydrated conditions. This is in support of our study, where we noted a significant positive result in acoustic voice analysis parameters after hydrating the dehydrated vocal cords by means of steam inhalation which was analysed using Dr. Speech vocal assessment

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