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Unread 02-10-2007, 07:05 AM   #1
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Odd Problem

I'm fairly sure I've done something dreadful to my throat, and I'm not sure precisely what or how:

A few months ago, during an evening of volunteering at an inner city kids' club, I naturally spent a lot of time talking and singing, and after we were done, and the kids had gone home, I sang very loudly for awhile, but well within my normal range.

On the drive home, I realized that my voice was on rough ground and that it would probably be rather weak in the morning.

When I got home, it still felt...not hoarse precisely, but definitely within the range where one ought to begin laying off. It didn't, at that point feel like anything except a worn out throat.

And then, I ate several chunks of potatoes, one of which went down very awkwardly (do please bear with me here, that detail is actually somewhat vital in my problem) and felt as if it were simply lodged in my throat, and needed to be swallowed again and again, and again.

I spent the rest of the evening swallowing constantly, and just assumed it would be better in the morning.

It wasn't. In fact, since then, I've been plagued constantly by a sort of 'lump' sensation in my throat. I wouldn't naturally connect this to vocal stress, except that when I sing, it tends to get worse, and my voice has also been weaker since that time. When I sing, it feels like it's building pressure in my throat, and when I release the pressure, I need to swallow again and the swallowing creates pressure, also.

I thought that perhaps I'd simply worn it out utterly, and rest would be all it needed, so I sang very little for about three weeks, at the end of which, the feeling was beginning to fade, and then one afternoon, sitting with my guitar, I sang a fairly high note, and the feeling instantly returned.

Overall, I'm slightly confused by the entire thing. Because my throat has performed at normal, and at times, above normal levels during that time with no more wear than one would normally expect, and at other times, has fallen apart over the smallest issue. I admit that I have in the past, and probably even recently, misused my throat, but I do try to be careful, and stop singing when it starts hurting, etc.

So. After all that, my question is this: is this a common symptom of anything? And is there anything that can be done for my voice? Anything I could hope to pay for?

Thank you in advance for any advice.

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Unread 02-10-2007, 08:47 AM   #2
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It's possible, if you have abused your voice a lot, to have developed a polyp. Perhaps you should visit an Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor (ENT) to have it checked out.
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Unread 02-10-2007, 07:04 PM   #3
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Definitely visit the ENT doctor, they will most likely stick a camera up your nose into your throat to check everything out. I have had that done, it's not too bad.
Hopefully you have not developed a nodule or anything like that.
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Unread 10-12-2007, 05:07 AM   #4
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'Scuse the resurrection, but I think the thread deserves closure--

So. After months of this and that, and trying to set things up, I finally visited an ENT this week.

Apparently, there's nothing wrong, per se, with my vocal cords. It's an issue of my throat being irritated and swollen by drainage from my sinuses, which my nerves interpret as a mass of some kind.

So hopefully the issue will be entirely resolved within a month or two. Thanks again for the advice.
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Unread 10-17-2007, 01:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Small View Post
'Scuse the resurrection, but I think the thread deserves closure--

So. After months of this and that, and trying to set things up, I finally visited an ENT this week.

Apparently, there's nothing wrong, per se, with my vocal cords. It's an issue of my throat being irritated and swollen by drainage from my sinuses, which my nerves interpret as a mass of some kind.

So hopefully the issue will be entirely resolved within a month or two. Thanks again for the advice.
That too, I've had that. It's not something that can really be prevented other than by drinking gratuitous amounts of water. Good to hear things worked out.

And as slow as these forums are, I'm not worried about rezzing anything less than a year old.
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Unread 10-17-2007, 01:59 PM   #6
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It's not something that can really be prevented other than by drinking gratuitous amounts of water.
And my sinus irrigation technique. Dissolve about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of baking soda in 1 cup of warm water. Close one nostril and suck water up the other nostril. Repeat for the other side and then blow gently into a couple of tissues. Sounds gross but it really helps.
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Unread 10-17-2007, 02:02 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by presbystrat View Post
And my sinus irrigation technique. Dissolve about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of baking soda in 1 cup of warm water. Close one nostril and suck water up the other nostril. Repeat for the other side and then blow gently into a couple of tissues. Sounds gross but it really helps.
There is this stuff that I used to do every morning that worked like that. It works to an extent, but if it's already on your chords, you gotta drink water... Generally if I'm even slightly feeling groggy when I wake up, I immediately drink a glass of water before I attempt to speak. Believe it or not, it will affect you the rest of the day...

Of course, nobody ever accused vocalists/musicians of being superstitious.
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Unread 10-19-2007, 05:08 AM   #8
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*laugh*

Superstitious? If it's before 3 pm, I can't confess to being superstitious. Last time I did...

Thanks for the future prevention tips. I'll certainly do whatever I can to stave it off in the future. Going nearly a year basically unable to sing is unbelievably frustrating.

The most beneficial part of this is that after it's cleared up, I should finally be able to start the vocal lessons this whole situation had indefinitely delayed.
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Unread 10-19-2007, 10:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by presbystrat View Post
And my sinus irrigation technique. Dissolve about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of baking soda in 1 cup of warm water. Close one nostril and suck water up the other nostril. Repeat for the other side and then blow gently into a couple of tissues. Sounds gross but it really helps.
There is a much easier way to do this. Just get some nasal saline spray (any generic brand is fine) from the drugstore, and use it several times over the course of a steamy shower. I always do this before I have to perform.
Mucinex is also gold for removing phlegm and such.
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