Sunday, June 24, 2012

Voice Not Fully Coming Back After Losing It Before

I almost fully lost my voice about 1-2 weeks ago and it still hasn't fully come back. For example, I used to be able to sing high and now I can't hold the note and it cracks. Does it normally take this long to fully come back? Will it fully come back?

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

I cannot comment about prognosis for improvement without knowing the reason for your vocal changes. See an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician for an evaluation and treatment recommendations.

Good luck.

Vocal Cord Swelling Treatment

I want to know the remedy for vocal cord swelling as the result of throat radiation.

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

Vocal cord swelling and/ or fibrosis (stiffness) of the mucosa leading to hoarseness are common side effects of radiation therapy to the larynx. In some cases, these mucosal changes are long-standing without specific options for remediation other than spontaneous healing over time. Voice therapy with a speech pathologist may be helpful.
Best of luck to you.



Laser Surgery on Vocal Cord

I had a polyp on my left vocal cord, the ENT did laser surgery and now my voice is very hoarse. Why didn't he prescribe speech therapy, being that he and I knew that my voice could be hoarse, and that he knew I am a teacher? Thanks!!! P.S. Can it still be reversed, my hoarseness?

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

Voice therapy with a speech pathologist can help to speed healing following vocal cord surgery. I cannot say why voice therapy was not recommended; this would be a question for your physician.  

There are many reasons for hoarseness following phonosurgery, including swelling / inflammation as part of the normal healing process, any residual lesion, scarring, or strain/ functional dysphonia. Voice therapy can be helpful in reducing post-operative swelling and any functional strain/ compression of laryngeal muscles contributing to persistent hoarseness. If scarring or if any polyp remaining is the primary reason for the ongoing hoarseness, additional surgery may be an option; discuss this with your surgeon.

Best of luck to you.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Loss of Singing Vocal Range

I recently suffered from a sore throat, chronic cough and loss of voice for one week. I am a teacher however, and was forced to talk and yell with grating vocal chords during that week. Now that the soreness is gone, my singing sounds breathy, my high vocal range is gone (when I try to sing, it goes silent and sounds like I am hissing air) and my vocals sound like there is a harsh whisper mixed in with them. How can I regain my rich full tone with no breathless sounds and reach my high vocal range again?

Melissa Kim M.S., CCC-SLP replies....
To determine how you might regain your vocal quality and pitch range, you must first determine the cause of your ongoing symptoms. Although some degree of change in vocal quality or performance is expected in the setting of an upper respiratory infection such as you describe, persistent vocal symptoms after the sore throat, cough, etc. have resolved should be evaluated by an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician. Once an ENT determines the reason for your vocal difficulties, appropriate treatment can be recommended. Best of luck to you.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Male with Female Sounding Voice

I am a man of 22 years and when I attend any phone call, the other person thinks that I am a girl.  Sometimes it is difficult for me to attend any phone call.  What can I do for this?

Melissa Kim M.S., CCC-SLP replies... 

I would recommend an evaluation by an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician to rule out the possibility that something structural/ functional is contributing to your symptoms. In the absence of anatomic or physiologic abnormality, abnormally high pitch in young men is often referred to a "puberphonia," and can be treated in voice therapy with a speech pathologist who specializes in the treatment of voice disorders.

Good luck!


Professional Singer

I am a professional singer.  I get a bit hoarse voice after I sing 3 songs at a stretch - even after doing my regular singing practise for 1 hour I get some hoarseness which subsides again after 20 minutes.  Am I having some pathological problem with my vocal cords?  How to get a remedy?

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

I would first recommend an evaluation by an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician to rule out the possibility that something structural/ functional is contributing to your symptoms. If all is determined to be well, you may be helped by seeking out advice from an experienced voice teacher.

Best of luck to you.