Thursday, November 22, 2012

Steroid Treatment

Hi I'm a 23-year old classical singer who recently had bronchitis. My ENT found my vocal chords had swollen as a result of the severe cough and overuse, and so he prescribed steroids (cortisone) for 8 days, and told me to wait 72 hours afterwards to begin singing again.

Today was the first day I started singing again. However, after a few exercises, I feel weak and have a scratchy feeling in my throat. Is this normal? Does it mean the steroid treatment was effective? And how long should I expect to arrive at a full singing voice again after treatment of steroids? Thank you.

Joanna Lott, M.A., CCC-SLP replies... 
Steroid use does not generally prevent you from being able to sing. In fact, it is often used to get a singer through a performance while sick. The risk is that you can overdo it without knowing it. My guess in your case is that you need to ease back into singing after some time away from it. Don't try to do too much too soon. Try some lip trills and sirens to get warmed up and see how it feels. If it is uncomfortable or painful, you should see your ENT again. And make sure that your ENT is trained to work with singers.
 

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