Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cannot Sing for Long

So I love to sing, and I do a lot of it in the car now that I"m not in any formal choir anymore. It is really hard for me NOT to sing along when I hear any song. Lately my voice has been getting tired a lot more easily than it used to. I can only sing for about 2 songs and then I can't hit the notes anymore and my voice gets really weak. I am 19 and this has been going on for almost a month. What should I do. What caused this? I was never sick, but I've been a bit more "mucousy" in my throat and nose but no other cold symptoms.

Joanna Lott, M.A., CCC-SLP replies...

Increased mucous can simply be due to a cold, allergies, or even just changes in the weather. Increasing your water intake can help to thin the mucous and allow for greater ease of voicing. However, it is possible that so much singing has left your vocal folds swollen and irritated causing you to work harder to get the sound that usually comes easily. Or, you may have been singing too much, too loud, or for too long at one time, and this can lead to phonotrauma -- a.k.a, overuse injury to your voice -– such as nodules, polyps, or vocal fold hemorrhage. I’m not suggesting that you have such a lesion, but if you do it is best to find out as soon as possible to prevent further damage. If the problem persists, I would recommend seeking treatment with a laryngologist (ENT specializing in voice) and an SLP voice specialist. Best of luck!

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