Nasal breathing through a damp gauze enhances surface hydration of the vocal folds and optimizes vocal function

Article published in “Journal of Voice”, 2021;?:213-221


Objective: The present study proposes a direct surface hydration system based on nasal 19 breathing through a damp gauze. The goal is to observe whether such direct hydration procedure positively modifies vocal fold functionality by improving voice quality and enhancing the mobility and pliability of the vocal fold mucosa.

Methods: Sixty-one young adults without voice problems were enrolled and were randomly divided into three double-blinded treatment groups. In the first group (the Gauze group), participants breathed through the nose wrapped in a damp gauze for 10 minutes while doing vocal warm-up exercises to facilitate water penetration into the mucosal layers of the vocal folds. The second group (the Exercise group) performed the same warm-up exercises as the Gauze group for 10 minutes without hydration procedures. The third group (the Control group) talked using their normal speaking voice for ten minutes. The participants were evaluated before and after the treatment tasks with three tests: a laryngostroboscopic examination (i.e., the Glottic Closure, the Amplitude of the mucosal wave and the Maximum Opening of the Glottic Space); voice acoustic analysis (Multi Dimensional Voice Program); and a perceptual voice evaluation (GRBAS scale).

Results: Results showed that after the use of a damp gauze, Glottic Closure, the Amplitude of the mucosal wave, the Maximum Opening of the Glottic Space, the Shimmer and the B of GRBAS all improved.

Conclusion: Findings showed significantly better vocal results for the participants of the Gauze group, suggesting the damp gauze procedure to be an effective, fast, and economical procedure to improve and optimize vocal fold functionality. It can be hypothesized that the obtained results are related to an improvement in vocal folds surface hydration and visco-elasticity.


Vocal folds, voice disorder, voice prevention, hydration, humidity, moisturization

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Methods
  3. Methods (II)
  4. Results
  5. Results (II)
  6. Discussion
  7. Acknowledgements and appendix
  8. References


Maria Borragan1, Bruno Gómez Mediavilla1, Marian Agudo Leguina1, Maria Jose González Fernandez1, Dario Strangis2, Marco Fantini3, Andrea Ricci Maccarini4, Alfonso Borragan Torre1

1CFL, Centro de Foniatria y Logopedia, Santander, Spain
2Voce InForma – Centro Vocologico Internazionale, Torino, Italy
3Head and Neck Oncology Service, Candiolo Cancer Institute, FPO IRCCS, Candiolo, Italy
4Hospital Maurizio Bufalini, Cesena, Italy