Monday, November 5, 2012

Extreme Throat Problems

Hello, I am 50 yrs young. Started singing around 7. Was fine until about 21 yrs after I got out of the Army. My throat would get sore with extreme pain where I wouldn't swallow. It would happen at least 6-10 times a year. I was always just given an antibiotic with no success.Then one year my voice went away for at least a month with no pain, no swelling, you could barely hear me breathe, Docs didn't find anything wrong. After my voice returned I lost the high register and sometimes I get a painful cramp in my throat where I have to literary hold the base of my neck still while I twist my head to pop the knot in my throat. Now when my throat gets soar with mucus I get my high register back, when it gets well I lose it again. What do you recommend?

Melissa Kim M.S., CCC-SLP replies...

If an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician has determined that your larynx and vocal cords are healthy after a thorough evaluation, I would suspect that there is at least a component of a functional voice disorder (a problem with the way in which you are using the voice). To address a functional voice disorder, voice therapy with a speech pathologist who specializes in the treatment of voice disorders can be helpful. He/ she will be able to prescribe specific exercises to address specific concerns. 

If you have not seen an ENT, I would suggest that you seek out a laryngologist (an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician who specializes in the treatment of voice disorders) for an evaluation and treatment recommendations.

Thank you for your question.

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