Yesterday, I was singing along with the radio in my car, and while hitting some high notes, all of a sudden my throat and roof of mouth went completely numb, and I felt like I couldn't swallow. This triggered a panic attack which worsened the swallowing sensation.
Today, in the aftermath, I still feel like there is a rope around my neck, my throat feels tight and I have some lingering numbness and swallowing difficulty. I also find it difficult to speak loudly, and have been avoiding speaking altogether.
What could cause this to occur so suddenly? Is it possible to "blow out" a vocal cord? For reference, I have acid reflux, central sleep apnea, and mild neck arthritis. Thank You.
Melissa Kim M.S., CCC-SLP replies...
A single episode of voice "abuse" or overuse certainly may result in damage to the vocal cords with resulting voice change, such as a vocal cord hemorrhage (bleeding into a vocal cord) or even development of a vocal cord polyp. Difficulty swallowing would most likely be unrelated but should also be investigated. See an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician for an evaluation of the larynx; while there, ask about a referral for a modified barium swallow study with a speech pathologist for thorough evaluation of swallowing function.
Best of luck to you!