Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Vocal Cord Damage

I'm 17 and an aspiring singer/musician. In December last year I decided I really wanted to sing professionally and I started writing a whole lot of songs and I sang non-stop everyday. By the end of June this year I realized my voice sounded different when I tried to sing and my throat literally felt like it was on fire and I could almost taste blood in my mouth after I wrapped up my singing sessions. I told my dad about it but him being him told me it wasn't a big deal so he took me to a doctor and he gave me pills and the pain went for a while but my voice has never been the same. If I want to make it big I need to sing but I've lost a lot of my vocal range, my voice sounds scratchy and hoarse and every time I sing my throat hurts. I've tried going on vocal rest but when I'm done with vocal rest and I try singing my voice gives up on me and it hurts almost like a cut .I've been crying because I don't know if I'll ever get my voice back and its imperative that I do because it's all I have.What exactly is wrong with my vocal cords and can you help?

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

If you were singing "non-stop every day" you may have a use-related injury. That is, you may have formed something like a callous or blister (or even a hemorrhage) on one or both of your vocal cords. If this is the case, voice rest will help, but only temporarily (if at all) -- and then as soon as you start using your voice again, the symptoms will return. To know for sure what is going on, you need to make an appointment with a laryngologist for a video stroboscopy. Try to find a laryngologist who specializes in working with singers. If you are near Baltimore, we would be happy to see you here: If not, our national referral database may be helpful to you: Best of luck!

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