I'm a choral singer. Back in July I had bronchitis for a month and coughed my head off. First week of Oct had a URI and coughed a lot. On the 7th or 8th, lost my voice completely and while I can now speak, am still hoarse and can't really sing. Yesterday is the start of the 4th week of this. Have finished a whole bottle of Mary's Magic Mouthwash. Now gargling with warm water/salt/sugar/lemon. Have an ENT appointment at Indiana University on Nov 13. Trying not to talk and not singing. Question how likely is it I have developed nodes or granuloma...should I keep not talking and not singing? Is trying to sing worse than talking? Do I risk further damage if I try? I'm slightly panicked. Thank you very much.
Melissa Kim M.S., CCC-SLP replies...
Don't panic! Although I can't predict the likelihood of developing traumatic lesions such as vocal fold nodules, this diagnosis is easily made with an endoscopic examination performed by most ENTs. If it is at all possible, I would suggest that you continue to rest your voice as much as possible - particularly from prolonged singing - until you are seen by your ENT. What type of voice use is more damaging depends on the person... some individuals have technique issues with either or both speaking and singing.