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Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
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Allergies and the Voice
C. Gaelyn Garrett, M.D, Medical Director, Vanderbilt Voice Center, Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
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Editor's Note: Advisory Note:
Patient education material presented here does not substitute for medical consultation or examination, nor is this material intended to provide advice on the medical treatment appropriate to any specific circumstance.


Healthy voice use should first begin with a basic understanding of voice production. Normal voicing begins with airflow from the lungs moving past the vocal folds (also known as vocal cords), triggering vibration and resultant sound. The sound is then modulated by the structures above the vocal folds, which include the tongue, mouth, lips, and nasal and sinus cavities, producing what we recognize as the human voice. The vocal folds vibrate very quickly, from 80 to 800 times a second, depending on the vocal pitch. You can imagine that a significant amount of friction can be produced by this amount of vibration, unless there is something to reduce that friction, which, in this case, is mucus lubrication provided by glands in and around the larynx.

Summer 2014 Magazine Issue
  • Summer Apprenticeships
  • Opera Tours for Board Members
  • My First Opera by Speight Jenkins
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330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
P 212-796-8620 • F 212-796-8621
Info@operaamerica.orgDirections
From Airport:
The easiest way to reach the OPERA America offices is to get a cab at the airport. Cost is $40-45
(not including tip).
  • JFK - Take the AirTrain ($5 - approx. 15 minutes) to the Jamaica Street Station and transfer to the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Take the LIRR to Penn Station ($12 - approx. 35 minutes). See Penn Station directions below.
  • LaGuardia - Take the M60 Bus to the Hoyt Ave/31st Street. Get on the or Train and take that to 42nd/Times Square Station. Follow the Times Square Station directions below.
  • Newark - Take the New Jersey Transit train to Penn Station ($15 - approx. 45 min). See the Penn Station Directions below.

From Penn Station/Madison Square Garden:
Leave the station through the 7th Avenue/33rd Street exit and walk south for four blocks. The building is on
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From Grand Central Station:
Take the Train to the 42nd/Times Square station and transfer to the Train.
Take the Train to the 28th Street stop and walk north on 7th Avenue.
The building is on the same block as the train stop.

From 42nd Street/Times Square:
Take the Train to the 28th Street stop and walk north on 7th Avenue.
The building is on the same block as the train stop.

For more detailed directions, most up-to-date pricing or to specify a different starting location, please visit the
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