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Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear

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Craig 1 11 Dec 06 - 05:58 AM
s&r 11 Dec 06 - 06:12 AM
Craig 1 11 Dec 06 - 06:19 AM
GUEST,Cats 11 Dec 06 - 06:20 AM
s&r 11 Dec 06 - 06:43 AM
Craig 1 11 Dec 06 - 06:56 AM
s&r 11 Dec 06 - 07:45 AM
kendall 11 Dec 06 - 08:05 AM
Beer 11 Dec 06 - 08:06 AM
Beer 11 Dec 06 - 08:08 AM
GUEST 11 Dec 06 - 11:43 AM
Richard Bridge 11 Dec 06 - 11:59 AM
Beer 11 Dec 06 - 12:06 PM
GUEST 11 Dec 06 - 12:33 PM
shepherdlass 11 Dec 06 - 01:24 PM
Linda Goodman Zebooker 12 Dec 06 - 12:33 AM
GUEST,Sandy Andina 12 Dec 06 - 05:04 AM
GUEST 12 Dec 06 - 05:37 AM
GUEST,pattyClink 12 Dec 06 - 11:09 AM
GUEST,pattyClink 12 Dec 06 - 11:11 AM
Big Mick 12 Dec 06 - 11:21 AM
Beer 13 Dec 06 - 09:01 AM
Mark Ross 13 Dec 06 - 10:29 AM
Craig 1 13 Dec 06 - 10:46 AM
Pistachio 13 Dec 06 - 04:19 PM
The Sandman 14 Dec 06 - 04:12 PM
leeneia 14 Dec 06 - 10:00 PM
GUEST 02 Apr 07 - 07:56 AM
Cats 02 Apr 07 - 08:09 AM
kendall 02 Apr 07 - 08:11 AM
Mr Happy 02 Apr 07 - 08:27 AM
Charley Noble 02 Apr 07 - 04:14 PM
GUEST,ALF 02 Apr 07 - 09:52 PM
GUEST,kyle 07 Apr 07 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,BigMouth 27 Jul 08 - 07:42 AM
Willa 27 Jul 08 - 02:43 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 28 Jul 08 - 06:21 AM
Pistachio 03 Aug 08 - 12:28 PM
The Sandman 03 Aug 08 - 12:48 PM
Gene Burton 03 Aug 08 - 01:41 PM
The Sandman 03 Aug 08 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,Gary 11 Apr 10 - 11:22 AM
Charley Noble 11 Apr 10 - 02:00 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 11 Apr 10 - 08:35 PM
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Subject: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Craig 1
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 05:58 AM

Hello Everyone,

My name is Craig and I just stumbled across this site,and Im really glad I did because it seems really interesting.

Anyway,My problem is a worrying one and I am completley gutted over it.A few years ago I had a good smooth singing voice and I really loved to sing but for the last few years I have had a horrible disgusting problem with phlem on the back of my throat and through this I have constantly had to clear my throat and done this for years and because of this I have damaged my vocal folds,I know this because I can not hit the same notes as I used to be able to hit and I am so frustrated over this because I would love to try and make a career from singing.I feel like the damage has been done now and there is proberbly nothing I can do about it but if anyone can give me any good advice about restoring my voice I would be so grateful.

Craig


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: s&r
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 06:12 AM

As in your other post, do you smoke?

And welcome to Mudcat

Stu


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Craig 1
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 06:19 AM

Hello Stu,

No I dont smoke and never have done mate


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: GUEST,Cats
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 06:20 AM

Hi and welcome. If you are in the UK , go to your doctor, explain the situation, ie that you are a singer, and ask them to refer you to a specialist or to a Speech and Language Therapist. They will show you the correct way to use your vocal chords and clear your throat. I'm waiting on my first appointment with SALT after seeing a consultant.


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: s&r
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 06:43 AM

Rather than think about the voice it sounds like chronic catarrh. If the mucus produced when you clear your throat is yellow or creamy, you may have a long standing infection. I agree with Cats - it's a job for a doctor. It may be a simple thing to clear up. Good luck with it

Stu


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Craig 1
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 06:56 AM

Cheers for the help,

will see what the the doctor says


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: s&r
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 07:45 AM

Just looked up catarrh which looks possible.

This is one site.

"Catarrh can lead to a number of problems, for example:

the need to continually clear the throat
the feeling of a lump at the back of the tongue
dry tickly cough
post nasal drip
other throat symptoms, eg snoring, bad breath, tonsilloliths, sore throats
If untreated, catarrh can persist for many years, and may be the cause of considerable distress, both to the sufferer and those around them.


How common is catarrh?
Catarrh is a common problem, affecting around 20% of the population.

Catarrh seems to be most marked in the 40 – 59 year old age group, with an incidence of around 15% of the general population, male and female. If the other associated symptoms are included, then the incidence of catarrhal symptoms in the adult population is over 50%. There is some evidence to suggest that these symptoms are predominantly conditions associated with polluted areas, with dust being one of the exacerbating factors. Also, a lifestyle associated with stress, processed food, an overweight population, alcohol etc., exposure to infections through living in a close society and an indoor lifestyle are also linked to catarrhal symptoms. "


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: kendall
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 08:05 AM

Do not wait. The longer you put it off the worse it will get. You would be amazed at what a good speech therapist can do.


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Beer
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 08:06 AM

Hi Craig.
I sure can relate to your problem. I'm no Doctor put I will relate a few things to you.
I have the same disgusting problem with phlegm especially in the morning and sometimes it does continue throughout the day. However mind is probably due to years of smoking. Started around 13 now I'm going on 60. I did quit 3 years ago and even though these tough lungs show no obvious damage I think there must be some part in them that have weekend. The Doc. still thinks that this will clear in time. I doubt it but what the heck.
About 2 years ago I thought I had Laryngitis as every time I started to sing or talked to much I would loose some words as if this is what I had. But to make a long story short I finally got to a specialist (Montreal Canada) and she said that I had bowing of the vocal folds. Where by the folds would not close completely and air would pass through giving one the impression that laryngitis was the problem.
   She then injected a product (collagen I think.)to build up the fold. However this is not a permanent fix and after 6 to 8 months it wears off.
So three months ago I had two implants inserted in the folds. This is apparently a fairly new thing and with great results (In most cases). I'm still having problems but some days I can sing fairly well while others I can't carry a note in a piss pot. I go to a speech therapist and in the test she makes me do I see improvement and she is very happy. I'm still the one not satisfied.
What really frosts my nuts is that I had just put a Celtic band together when this all happened.
I asked the surgeon what caused this and I didn't like either of her answers.
1) If you live alone, go to work and your work involves very little communication resulting overall in very little use of your voice.
2) Age. The folds finally say. F....it. I'm tired. You abused me for years now I want to rest. My muscles are fagged out.

Unfortunately I fit in the second class. Curious?? Would you fit in one of these? If your a singer I doubt that your in the first example. Then again you may have a different problem altogether.
Go to Kendall's thread at the bottom and you may pick up some great advice.
I truly wish you the best. If your a young person then I truly advise you to get professional help and good professional help.
Beer

When I can't play I'll sing,
When I can't sing I'll whistle.
When the day comes I can't whistle no more,
I'll sit myself down and I'll listen.


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Beer
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 08:08 AM

I didn't write those last 4 lines. They are from a song I heard way back by a lady from Western Canada.
Beer (aka=Adrien)


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 11:43 AM

Hello Beer,

Cheers for the advice mate.To be honest the phlem aint a problem anymore,thats all sorted.Its just the damage that ive done to my vocal folds while I had the phlem problem,through clearing my throat all the time.I would like some advice on how to repair my vocal folds if that is possible and to strengthen them.Do you think that the botox injection would fix the damage?


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 11:59 AM

No!


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Beer
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 12:06 PM

No here as well.
Beer


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 12:33 PM

Ok,well is there any way that I can strengthen them again?

I can still sing but I cant hit the same notes all the time that I used to be able to hit,and my singing voice aint as smooth as it used to be


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: shepherdlass
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 01:24 PM

Oh, I do sympathize - I've been plagued with all kinds of sinus and catarrh problems since I was a kid, but was lucky enough to find a classical singing teacher who stopped me from constant throat-clearing. Once you've got a medical assessment of the damage and started to find ways to repair it, then it's worth finding other ways to clear your throat rather than half-coughing and so scraping away at the vocal cords - you could try to work up some saliva and swallow it . Or you could eat boiled sweets (not necessarily the mentholated variety) just prior to singing. It also might be worth having a bash at finding an Alexander Technique vocal coach to help with correct posture, etc, which also helped me find ways to sing through that awful blocked feeling.


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Linda Goodman Zebooker
Date: 12 Dec 06 - 12:33 AM

As an adjunct to meeting with a voice therapist a number of years ago, I have found the warm-up tapes she recommended, produced by vocal coach Roland Wyatt, to be extremely good in repairing damage, extending range to about three octaves and making singing and speaking more comfortable and effective. I've been using my soprano tape for almost 10 years now. I wasn't sure they were still available (one for each voice part), but I have just looked around on the web, and they are. The singers on the tapes demonstrating the exercises are the four members of the jazz ensemble Manhattan Transfer, and the tapes are available at their website (scroll down to see the warm up tapes). Using the tape you get to do a vocal workout with Cheryl Bentyne, or the M.T. person of your voice. Fun!

When I actually got to see the group Manhattan Transfer in person last year, I had them autograph my tape! (first time anybody had asked them to autograph the warm-up tapes!)

I also mentioned this series of tapes a few years ago (in my pre-cookie days) on the other Mudcat thread, the "Help My Singing Voice is Dying".

One side of the tape has about half an hour's progressive exercises. The other side has Roland Wyatt's explanations of why they are helpful. You can just do the first few exercises to do some basic relaxing and strengthening. The tape tells you how to know when it's ok to progress further. About halfway through, there is a specific exercise for smoothing the voice.

But see a pro, first. Sometimes a vocal coach and voice therapist are one and the same person (as in my case). Insurance paid for me to visit her, as my speaking voice was important to me as a teacher, and I had been losing my voice for weeks at a time after every cold. Hasn't happened even once, since.

You are really supposed to use the tape a few times a week. The last few years I've been lax, but I do try to use it before I sing in a concert with my choir, and it really does make a big difference in what I'm able to do.

Best of luck,
Linda


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: GUEST,Sandy Andina
Date: 12 Dec 06 - 05:04 AM

Has any doctor discussed the possibility that you may have acid reflux, aka GERD? You don't even need to perceive the feeling of heartburn to have it--especially at night, when the acid backs up out of your esophagus as you sleep and irritates the vocal folds. You wake up full of phlegm that persists through the day (you misperceive it as catarrh or postnasal drip), which is your vocal folds' way of trying to protect themselves against the irritation of the acid. I had a very cloudy tone and lack of "edge" to my voice, which sounded tired (not rough, just like there was "no there there," to paraphrase Gertrude Stein). I sought out a teacher, who sent me to a singer-specific ENT (who also treats the members of the Lyric Opera). He 'scoped my folds as I sang and confirmed a moderate bowing on one of them--and on the photo, pointed out some irritation. He prescribed a "proton pump inhibitor" (in my case, Protonix, but you might be able to get relief with an OTC brand like Prilosec) to be taken at bedtime and again with breakfast. (The bedtime dose is more important, because you're lying down and need to fight gravity to keep from pickling your cords in stomach acid). He also suggested eschewing bedtime eating, and elevating the head of my bed, as well as instructing my teacher to prescribe exercises to build up my lower register. Three years later, my voice has cleared dramatically. (However, I do notice that when my Protonix 'scrip runs out and I have to make do with Prilosec, I get phlegmy again).

Oh, and I don't now and have never smoked.


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Dec 06 - 05:37 AM

Thank you for the great advice folks,It has made me feel alot better and positive about the situation,

Cheers

Craig


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: GUEST,pattyClink
Date: 12 Dec 06 - 11:09 AM

Craig, I am sorry you have this limitation put on your singing. But have some perspective, it may help you persevere.   

For example, I'm sure you don't sing in the Peggy Lee style, but she had a very long and good career, yet her useful vocal range was actually less than an octave.   Another example is the scurfy-voiced Bob Dylan, it never slowed him down not having pretty pipes.   There are countless other singers who have done fine with very imperfect instruments.

You may have to get very nimble at transposing things into 'your' key rather than singing any song in any key. This is a burden but also an opportunity to boost your musicianship. And you might sing more to convey the lyrics in a heartfelt way rather than to sing out great notes like a great flute or horn. But many of the best singers do that. The singers I dislike the most are the 'note-worshippers' who are simply stringing together vocal acrobatics for their own glorification rather than telling the story of the song for the hearer.

I know these remarks are probably not too welcome right now when you just want to 'fix it' as much as you can. But if you can still sing at all, and people still want to hear you, do not let technical problems hold you back.

And do get a vocal coach, teacher, or even choirmaster who can help you carry on without doing further damage. Singing 'right' can help you stay healthy and make the most of what you have without further damage.


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: GUEST,pattyClink
Date: 12 Dec 06 - 11:11 AM

p.s. In the short term, get some Mucinex to thin out your secretions, it will stop you from having to clear throat so much. And in the long term, get more liquids in general, same reason.


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Big Mick
Date: 12 Dec 06 - 11:21 AM

Sound advice, as usual, from patty clink. Having a great instrument technically, is no guarantee that you will reach the audience in a meaningful way. It is much more important to understand the story the song is telling, understand the audience and venue you are in, and then sing the song. And in case you missed a very important point she made, let me restate it in a different way. It ain't about you, it's about the song/story. There is a perception these days that vocal gymnastics are the way to sing. I find them boring, and a coverup for lack of talent.

There is an analogy in guitar players. How many technically competent players have you known, that you see in sessions, and wished you could play like them? How many of them are making a living in music? Usually it is the person that can take a song, and make folks feel its story, that folks come to see.

Work with what you have. Make sure you can sing in tune relative to yourself. Find ways to interpret a story well within your voice. If you have given up already, then you wouldn't have made it anyways.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Beer
Date: 13 Dec 06 - 09:01 AM

Good closing points Mick. In fact I'm finding that I have to learn all over again. I use to start most of my songs in "G" or "D" now to do the same songs I have to look else where. In cases I have to capo to locate the spot that I am comfortable with. Craig, you may have to do this as well, but get that professional help first.
Beer


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Mark Ross
Date: 13 Dec 06 - 10:29 AM

Having just recently been diagnosed with acid reflux(I have lost my singing voice, and sometimes it is even difficult to talk), I can sympathize. The doctor has me on Protonix. He says it will get better after acouple of months. An ENT looked at my vocal cords and said that there wasn't even any singers nodes, so I am hopeful the damage can be reversed. Good Luck!

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Craig 1
Date: 13 Dec 06 - 10:46 AM

Thanks again for for all the info guys,I am so glad that I stumbled across this site,it has made me see things alot differant.I will let you know how I get on

Craig


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Pistachio
Date: 13 Dec 06 - 04:19 PM

Interesting reading. I'm currently suffering with congestion and all the yuk that goes with it. I'm already conciously resisting the throat clearance that seems necessary and I'm off for another glass of water.
Craig, you still haven't indicated your age range...but whatever it is good luck with your recovery. Somewhere along the way you need to relax into delivering songs, as indicated above, and if you have to get used to a different range I'm sure you will still enjoy singing.
H.


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Dec 06 - 04:12 PM

look at your diet,catarrh is exacerbated by dairy products ,milk etc.
if you drink cows milk in the morning in any shape form ;DONT.
GINGER is good to help you expectorate, gargle with salt water[ salt is a natural antiseptic. I would advise a herbal doctor .


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: leeneia
Date: 14 Dec 06 - 10:00 PM

Whether you are a singer or not, avoid clearing your throat. Clearing the throat slams the vocal folds into one another at high speed, and that's just not good for them. If you need to get phlegm off the folds, cough it away. Try to make it an "affected cough" sound.

This is advice I have had from more than one singing professional.


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 07:56 AM

Hello Craig,

I am a classically trained singer. I am 44 and still singing strong.

I have however engaged a number of problems over the years.

Excess mucus is caused through post nasal drip blocked synes's etc, asthma, or allergies. If however it comes from your chest it is highly likely you have a bronchial problem. 1 in 4 people in Britain today have asthma and it can be mild and unnoticeable to very bad. I suggest you ask for a lung function test at your GP.

BTW I am asthmatic, and many great and powerful singers suffer from lung ailments, Enrico Caruso had Empyhesema, Joan Sutherland allergic rhinitus and synicitus and post nasal drip.

The important thing is to recognise you have an issue and tend to it. Don't sing in smokey atmospheres take nothing that dries out your vocal chords.

Whatever your problem is rest assured it is treatable.


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Cats
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 08:09 AM

The good news is that, after 4 months of speech and language therapy, 5 weeks off work and loads and loads of exercises, I am now allowed to sing 8 mid range notes - no words, just the vowel sounds. At this rate I will be able to sing again by the summer, as long as I am careful. So, do what the doctor or therapist says, take your time and if you need to rest your voice, do so. It's better not to sing for a few months than never to sing again at all.


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: kendall
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 08:11 AM

My latest exam showed an infection that was all over my vocal cords. The doctor put me on Prilosec, an anti biotic and Musinex. Two weeks later the congestion has cleared up and the exercises my voice therapist gave me seem to be working. It's very slow because the radiation I had tends to slow down the healing process.


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Mr Happy
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 08:27 AM

could be this:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deviated_septum


ask Dr. about it


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 04:14 PM

Kendall-

That's good to know. I can hardly wait till you're fully capable of chewing us out when we say something particularly dumb.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: GUEST,ALF
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 09:52 PM

Hello Craig,
Sorry to hear you are having trouble with your voice.
I am a classically trained singer with allergies and asthma who sings sea chanteys and also teaches voice.
While it is possible you have done some damage, it is likely it can be reversed.
The earlier advice about throat clearing is good advice. Habitual throat clearing does irritate the vocal folds and increases production of phlegm.
For most people dairy products have no more affect on the voice than any other foods. Eating anything shortly before you sing will increase mucous production.
Having a lot of phlegm will not in and of itself cause a decrease in range. Other folks have made excellent suggestions about other underlying causes like GERD that can cause a change in the range and timbre of your voice. Drinking plenty of water is also great advice.
Singing is an athletic endeavor. If your throat is irritated and you sing less you will lose agility in the voice simply because you are singing less. You may also have changed your technique in an attempt to compensate for loss of range. Tipping the head back to reach high notes is a good example. Poor technique in any sport will lead to lessened ability and potential injury.
You may want to look for "Change your Voice, Change your Life" or one of Morton Cooper's other books at the library. He is a speech therapist who maintains that most vocal injuries or issues can be cured with out invasive treatments or surgeries.
If you are really interested in the physiology of the voice look for "Discover Your Voice" by Oren L. Brown, Voice Faculty Emeritus, The Juilliard School. He also favors voice exercises and training in proper technique.
It is also important to note that many medications and things like alcohol can irritate the cartilage, muscles, mucous membranes, and so on, that make up the vocal apparatus and cause a change in range or timbre of the voice.
Feel free to contact me offline if you have specific questions.
Sincerely,
Alison
alf@chantey.net


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: GUEST,kyle
Date: 07 Apr 07 - 06:08 PM

stop singing!
give your throat time to heal and keep it from getting dry by drinking water. And stop clearing your throat!


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: GUEST,BigMouth
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 07:42 AM

I wonder if anybody comes here anymore? I just wanted to say what a friendly bunch you are, and helpful for me, too. I'm not a pro singer, but I have sung and played the guitar for years. I'm sure I had been singing incorrectly. Seven months ago, I got all the crap mucous in my throat, then about a month ago it is turning hoarse. I have been clearning my throat CONSTANTLY. I try to avoid it, but it seems like damage has been done. Will stopping clearing it, no more singing, and easing up on the talking help?


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Willa
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 02:43 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 06:21 AM

Hi Guest Big Mouth -

I wrote a reply yesterday but it got sucked away into the great cyber-Beyond for some reason and never appeared. Excessive mucous can be the after-effect of a bad cold or throat/chest-infection (and it tends to linger on for ages afterwards) or of prolonged exposure to smoke and other tissue-unfriendly atmospheres, as well as excessive use. It's one of the body's defense-mechanisms, meant to wrap the affected area in a protective coating. This means that if you try to sing, speak, or whisper (which is just as wearing, if not more) through it, you will overstrain and abrade the vocal cords, causing damage in addition to any rawness or problems that may have already been there. Even after the illness has gone, the phlegm-straitjacket seems to hang around for a long time, though it does eventually go - but it's often a matter of months, not days or weeks, and it can feel like eternity.

If you have been clearing your throat excessively, you've probably been aggravating the situation, wearing your vocal cords and also causing the glands to produce yet more mucous, so it's a vicious cycle. If this has been going on for seven months, it's hard to say whether permanent damage has resulted or not. You truly do need to get a qualified voice practitioner or ear-nose-throat specialist to examine your throat and give you an accurate individual medical report. Generalisations won't tell you anything about your own situation.   

The other thing you must do is really a not-do, and that is: STOP clearing your throat or subjecting your voice to any abrasive use (shouting, singing, gravelling-for-effect etc); and in fact try to speak as little as possible. I know it's a horrible hassle, but the measures you take now may prevent non-singing from becoming a permanent state of affairs. It's impossible to say from this distance whether the voice will ever come right again - even doctors can't always make future predictions. But it sounds like it could - so give it every chance. And that means allowing it as close to total vocal rest as you can manage.

If one stops the abuse in time and lets the injury heal (and the longer it has gone on, the longer it will take) then the voice could come back to form. If nodes have resulted, the harm is more serious - though there is (surgical?) treatment for them, and I'm not sure of the prognosis, though it surely varies with each individual case. The worst scenario is when the misuse has gone on for too long, because beyond a certain point the damage becomes permanent.   

Do read the threads linked in blue at the head of this page, because there is a lot of helpful advice in them. No magic cures, unfortunately, but with wear-injuries (it's the same with R.S.I.) there simply isn't one. It's purely a matter of time and rest.

There is another thread which should be added to the above column because it's on the same theme: "Lost my voice, can you help me find it?"

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=110121
CLONE ALERT Can you please add this to the above links?

Best of luck to you. A number of those who have posted in those other threads have come right again - so did I - so keep your head up (quietly!).


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Pistachio
Date: 03 Aug 08 - 12:28 PM

So much useful info. I've got to get back to voice exercises and may move on to a singing coach. Many thanks - I'll have to try reaaaaallllly hard to stay quiet! _ and just chat on the 'cat'.
H.x


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Aug 08 - 12:48 PM

I have a lot of problems with mucus,I think it is draining down from my sinuses.
I am still able to sing,but have decided to cut out all dairy products.I was examined by a doctor some two years ago,because I have a very bad cough,I thought I might have a chest infection,but The doctor said no,this was not the case.I am reluctant to take anything that dries the mucus,and am at present drinking different herbal teas,to try ans alleviate the problem,any other suggestions?if you visit YOUTUBE dickmiles music ,you can hear me singing,I honestly dont think my voice has ben affected
Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Gene Burton
Date: 03 Aug 08 - 01:41 PM

Dick, when I had something similar a couple of years back I went into Holland & Barrett and got something called "New Era for Catarrh and Sinus Disorders"...you take 4 at once & dissolve them on your tongue. Looking at the packaging now the main ingredients seem to be Iron Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Potassium Sulphite and salt. No idea of the science (if any) behind it, but it did work for me.


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Aug 08 - 01:54 PM

thanks Gene,I am in England in September,I will get some,if Icant get them in Ireland.Dick Miles


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Subject: Sore throat for over 2 years (singing injury)
From: GUEST,Gary
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 11:22 AM

Hi

I was singing songs, belting and really straining my voice like really high and low. After a few days my voice almost disappeared. I rested for 6 weeks. Then I went to see a ENT. He looked down my throat with a laryngoscope thingy, and said he saw a wee bit of inflamation. He diagnosed me with vocal disphonia. I did 5 sessions with a vocal therapist. However, now for over 2 years, I still can't sing without hurting my throat. Even just light mild singing. I did some acupuncture and the area of my throat under my chin stopped hurting, but now my lower throat seems to ache more. Taking a ibuprofen or panadol helps temporarily relieve the pain, but it always comes back.

So I have no nodes etc. What the hell is wrong? Muscular, nerve, or what? Psychological? Tension? The even more strange thing is that when i get pain nervy kind of pain in my shoulder blade region from playing the guitar, the pain seems to subside a little. I'm begging for help. 3 ENT's and a Chinese doc later, and not a huge advance in recovery. Will I ever sing again? jinbailong@Gmail.com


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 02:00 PM

Gary-

Sounds like a nightmare.

There are several Mudcatters on other threads who have had major vocal problems but they were related to nasty things growing on their vocal chords.

Where are you located, in the States or somewhere else?

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 08:35 PM

I really have no idea what to suggest. Four different doctors! What did they tell you? There's a helpful-looking PDF you can download that deals with physical-stress-related vocal dysphonia, and also a web page that discusses it. But no internet site can really be a substitute for live examination and dialogue. Have you tried asking in a dedicated voice forum? Seeing a doctor who is a voice specialist rather than an ENT? Where are you? Anyway:

http://www.voiceinstituteny.com/Voice/pdf/ADD%20PDFs/bogart-bacall%20syndrome.pd

(Sorry for the length of that URL but I put it there so you can copy/paste if the clickie doesn't work. It's the downloadable PDF.)

http://www.voicedoctor.net/therapy/hyperfunction.html

Best of luck - let us know how you get on.


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: GUEST,margaret
Date: 18 May 10 - 10:51 PM

Hi Craig- You should see a good Ear Nose and throat Doctor who specializes in singers. You might possibly have acid reflux hitting the back of your vocal cords causing them to swell and it feels like thick mucous- sometimes a lump in your throat sensation- causing you to try and clear it with clearing your throat. A good Dr. will put numbing medicine in your throat and actually look at your cords. When there is redness and swelling at the back of throat they then know it's reflux. You may never experience any heartburn- I didn't- I was hoarse and clearing my throat alot. There are good medicines that help- nexium, prilosec etc. and diet is very important- avoiding acidic foods like tomatoe sauce , orange juice, and alchohol.
I've been singing alot- it can be managed quite well. Some ENT's don't "get it" so be sure to get someone who treats singers.
Good Luck!


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 19 May 10 - 09:28 AM

I agree -- the main thing is to see an ENT who specializes in singers. In our experience, the others haven't a clue -- either to what constitutes a good singing voice (the radiologist Tom/Curmudgeon was referred to -- by the ENT who said his cancer was "early stage" -- admitted that what he would call a good voice we would probably call "crap"-- yes, that's his technical term) or to what a singing voice MEANS to a singer.

Tom is so fortunate to have Mass General Hospital, The Voice Center and Dr. Zeitels relatively close by -- they "get" it!

Linn


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 19 May 10 - 02:34 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: JHW
Date: 19 May 10 - 04:20 PM

How do I find a Specialist (in the UK, preferably North East)?

I didn't sing for most of 2009 due to the threat of a cough hovering. (This cough only if I tried to sing or maybe a long phone call)
My GP/Regular Doc said maybe low thyroid, mine was found to be low, now fixed by pills for life.
Hospital specialist said maybe due to Blood Pressure medication though I'd long stopped that in case.
ENT guy actually seeing chords/folds with periscope said yes they were slightly inflamed, no other damage and put me on six weeks every day antacid medication though (as guest Margaret) I had no obvious heartburn problem. Six weeks on again he pronounced chords pristine so I sang albeit a bit cautiously Autumn/Winter 2009.
The incipient cough came back this (2010) Spring so I've largely given up going to folk clubs as I don't know whether I'll be able to sing or not and I absolutely daren't put anything in the diary for the future.
I do go each week to a singing teacher who insists that my voice is fine, which it is when it is but she'd be the first one to stop me singing if I had any hint of a cough.

John Wilson


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: GUEST,Devin
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 09:29 PM

Hello... I am in the us army. When u went to basic everyone called me American idol because I could sing so well.. I joined to make enough money to tour and sing for a career.. It was a terrible choice.. Because I had such a strong voice day after day the had me calling cadences. I was belting out an screaming at therop of my lungs.. J got hours really bad one day and never got my coir back.. I don't know what to do.. Please help me if you can I have no power in my voice at all.


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jun 12 - 12:50 AM

craig. i dont know if you ever got help...but if so PLEASE HELP ME!! I'm a 57 y/o woman who suffers with phlem as well as blowout from coughing from ALLERGIES! It is devestating.. hope to hear from you kelli in Colorado


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Subject: RE: Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 22 Jun 12 - 11:23 AM

Kelli, it wouldn't be right for mudcatters, who don't know anything about you, to tell you how to cope with a devastating cough.

1. Go to your public library. Read at least 3 books about allergies. Watch out for quackery - it can be found in the library, I'm sad to say.

2. Collect some statistics. Be able to say "I get coughing attacks ------ times a week. I cough at night/by day/after eating/when it's dusty. This has been going on since--------." etc

3. Visit a medical doctor, preferably an allergist.


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