So about a week ago I went to a concert, somehow ended up in the front row for my favorite band of all time (whom I've never had a chance to see live) and ended up screaming every word to an hour-long set. And I do mean, screaming, honestly, not singing. Loud.
Needless to say, not a good idea, as I know full well, but can't go back and change it now. Anyway, I didn't completely lose my voice, but my throat has felt... off for the past week? It doesn't hurt to talk, but my throat feels kinda dry and, for lack of a better way of putting it, tight? I can point to the specific point on one side of my neck where I feel this.
Oh, also I'm a singer in a rock'n'roll band (yes, I know; I really ought to know better than to have done something like this) and I definitely lost most of my singing range, though I didn't lose my speaking voice. After about 3 days I noticed my range was getting a bit better, but my throat is still dry-ish and feels weird and it's been a week since I stupidly blew my voice out.
I've been taking it easy, basically not talking unless I have to (which is rough because I'm a teacher - I've been using a microphone to address the class for the past week), I'm not singing at all, drinking LOTS of water and honey-tea, sleeping with a humidifier and taking non-menthol cough drops.
I've lost my voice a few times before (including once when I could barely talk at all for a day or two), but the fact that it's been a week and I haven't fully recovered is starting to scare me. Should I just keep on doing what I'm doing and hope it continues to improve?
At what point (how long out) should I see a doctor if I'm not back to normal? I've read a lot about this type of strain, and it seems most people say "just give it time," and that's fine, I just want some advice on how long it should take, given slow improvement, before my voice is back to somewhat-normal. (i.e. If it's not relatively recovered by WHEN might I need to go see somebody to see what's up?)
Just a little freaked out, dunno if going over a week without full recovery is normal or what.
(P.S. Rest assured I won't ever be making such a mistake again...)
Melissa Kim M.S., CCC-SLP replies...
As it has been at least a week of persistent voice change, I would suggest that you make an appointment with an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician. With any luck, your symptoms will resolve before your appointment! In the interim, continue all the excellent vocal hygiene practices you outlined in your email - you're doing everything right!
Good luck to you!