• FAME Performing Arts

Spring Allergies in Full Bloom

Updated: Feb 15, 2019

By: Sarah Snydacker

Hello! I’m Sarah, a new voice teacher at FAME. I just moved to Charleston from Iowa (the land of corn fields 1,200 miles away). I am so excited to be here, and I was thrilled to leave winter behind in Iowa for instant springtime in Charleston. Trading snow for camellias, azaleas, and dogwood trees in bloom is wonderful! However, the allergies that sometimes go along with the spring bloom are not so fun.

I’m sure many of you experience seasonal allergies, so you feel my pain. The sneezing, runny nose, itchy & watery eyes, the clogged throat, and hoarseness are the typical symptoms. Unfortunately these symptoms can really affect your voice. Besides taking allergy medications, what else can you do? Luckily there are several easy steps you can take to ease allergy symptoms.

1) Close your windows. I know, who wants to close up your windows? I would love to have the warm breeze drifting through my house. However, all kinds of allergens float around on that breeze. With open windows, you are inviting the enemies into your house.

2) Wash up frequently. Whenever you are out and about in the world, you pick up tiny particles from the environment. When you come home, you bring all of these particles into your house. Allergens attach to our clothes, our shoes, our skin, and our hair. Wash your clothes regularly, and wash the allergens off your skin & hair.

3) Eat healthily. Scientists have found that eating a balanced, nutritious diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables helps keep allergies at bay.

4) Rinse out your nose. This sounds kind of gross, but it’s super affective. Use a neti pot or a simple saline nasal spray to help wash away allergens that get stuck in your nasal passages and wreck havoc. I keep a bottle in my shower to use each day.

5) Honey and lemon. The combination of honey and lemon make a natural cough suppressant, and they help get rid of any junk at the back of your throat (thank you, post nasal drip). Honey also has antibacterial properties that will help prevent any kind of sinus infection. I like to mix about a tablespoon of each, and I put the combination in the microwave for a couple seconds (no longer or you will burn yourself!). It tastes good and does the trick.

6) Drink lots of water. Drinking water helps to thin any mucus you have going on (again, thank you, post nasal drip), and it helps to flush out your system of toxins. If you drink hot water or tea, the steam is beneficial in opening up your airways, too.

Good luck with your battle against the allergens! I can assure you that spring allergies are much preferred to the foot of snow my hometown in Iowa received last week!

Cheers -


Sarah Snydacker is an active voice teacher and versatile mezzo-soprano soloist. She recently moved from Iowa City where she was the owner of Snydacker Music Studio and an adjunct voice and musicology professor. She has performed a wide variety of roles in operas and musical theater productions, and she regularly performs solo recitals, specializing in contemporary American music. She also specializes in the study of body movement and alignment and has presented on this topic at national CMS and MTNA conferences. 

Snydacker earned her Ph.D. in vocal literature from the University of Iowa in 2011. She also earned a MFA in vocal performance and completed graduate studies in musicology at the University of Iowa. She holds bachelor’s degrees in vocal performance and music education. Snydacker’s dissertation is titled The New American Song: A Catalog of Published Songs by 25 Living American Composers. 

She is currently publishing her research as a searchable database with vital information for the quick selection of contemporary American vocal literature. Snydacker is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Music Teachers’ National Association, the College Music Soceity, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. 


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