HELP - Complete vocal loss

<p>The young lady that I have been helping with the college process will be going to LA Unifieds in 4 days. She has come down with complete vocal loss. What can she do to speed the process of healing (I don't have a D that sings so I have no clue what to tell her). </p>

<p>She should consult an M.D. who specializes in vocal care. Throat coat tea is helpful & entertainers secret & lots of water & vocal rest.</p>

<p>She should schedule an ENT appointment. There are steroids and other treatment that they can give that will bring the swelling down and allow her to sing.</p>

<p>What is entertainer’s secret and where would I find that?</p>

<p>@bisouu, here you go: <a href=“http://www.entertainers-secret.com/”>http://www.entertainers-secret.com/</a> Also available on amazon and lots of other sources.</p>

<p>Also recommend a personal steamer and a humidifier to keep vocal cords hydrated.</p>

<p>Throat Coat ,etc are good, but will not treat the underlying cause.The humidifier is great and pushing fluids is always good.
She must see an ENT now- check with a local college that has a good voice program to find one who specializes in working with singers- and do exactly what he/she suggests, even if that means NOT singing. I understand the importance of the auditions, but this is a young girl who is inexperienced and the damage she could do to her voice might be irreparable if she sings when she shouldn’t. Steroids must be used judiciously as they carry their own risks. Wishing her all the best and a speedy recovery!</p>

<p>Four days really should be plenty of time. Don’t freak out and be quiet. Along with the other wonderful suggestions, of course. </p>

<p>@Mezzo’smama is right about the steroids. Though I suggested them, they should only be used if absolutely necessary, and she needs to be on rest besides singing for her audition. They work miracles, but then young singers are tempted to over sing. Lots of rest!</p>

<p>Coach C I never thanked you when my D had a steroid question a few months ago. Update - She was fine by opening night and got very positive reviews. I couldn’t get on CC for a while there. Sorry.</p>

<p>Thank you so much everyone. My D went out and got her throat coat and some other remedies and a care package to make her feel better. No voice at all is coming out of her…I will pass on all of your advice :)</p>

<p>Complete voice loss usually comes from one of two things: a vocal hemorrhage or dehydration and swelling of the mucosa covering the vocal folds.</p>

<p>If your daughter coughed really hard, screamed, or used another loud vocalization that immediately resulted in voice loss, a vocal hemorrhage is possible. In that case she needs to see a laryngologist. She would be more likely to hemorrhage if she had taken any pain reliever other than Tylenol or if it is around her time of the month. This is not that common and its easy to fix (usually just voice rest), but if you don’t take care of it, it can turn into a blood filled polyp that must be surgically removed.</p>

<p>If the voice loss was gradual, it is usually viral or the result of a sinus infection/bronchitis. If that is the case you need to hydrate, thin the mucous, and reduce excessive coughing. Steaming and water consumption are your best bets for hydrating. Research suggests that saline water is actually more effective in hydrating the laryngeal mucosa. Simply add a little salt to your humidifier. Mucinex will thin the mucous on the vocal folds (and in the lungs) making it easier to expel and less likely to turn into an infection. Delsym is a great cough suppressant but should only be used to reduce coughing when the coughs are no longer productive. Productive coughs help move excess phlegm out off of the vocal folds. Coughs that are not productive can prolong voice loss. Sudafed and/or an antihistamine can be helpful to stop post-nasal drip, but both are drying. The best solution for nasal drainage is a neti pot. An alternative to the neti pot is a bottle of saline nasal spray. Use it to break up a congested nose and then use it three to four times a day to keep the nose hydrated. </p>

<p>I would take at least 48 hours of complete voice rest. Don’t test it, don’t talk, only communicate by writing notes or texting (since she’s a teen, that should be second nature to her :). After 48 hours, try semi-occluded vocal tract exercises - <a href=“http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xYDvwvmBIM”>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xYDvwvmBIM</a>. These exercises are a variation of a voice therapy regimen and are great for tired and/or damaged voices.</p>

<p>Hope that helps!</p>

<p>VT</p>

<p>Besides all of the above, our family swears by oil of oregano, found at many health food stores. It seems to help soothe and heal tender mucous membranes. It’s quite a dose! Otherwise, I’d stress complete vocal rest (and we mean with pen and paper!) and fluids. Hope she feels better and tell her to break a leg!</p>

<p>And NO cough or throat drops with Menthol (read the lables because brands change from season to season). Menthol is death on singer’s throats. Talking on a cell phone is also very hard on voices. When D was in HS, she had a Dora the Explorer small magnetic screen with a stylus for writing notes to others that she would tuck in her backpack when on vocal rest!!</p>

<p>Good vocal training will make a world of difference (that doesn’t help her now, unfortunately). One of my son’s classmates damaged her voice the summer before college, and when she got there they immediately put her on complete vocal rest for two weeks, with strict NO TALKING AT ALL. Whispering is apparently even worse. </p>

<p>@VoiceTeacher - I am totally copying and pasting your advice to my notes app! On the subject of healthy singing, one of the things that really impressed me about Otterbein is the emphasis they place on vocal health. This is extremely important when it’s your bread and butter!</p>

<p>I agree, vocal health is of the utmost importance when training young performers. At Shenandoah Conservatory we have the largest voice pedagogy faculty in the United States. Our faculty are constantly presenting at conferences, writing articles for journals, and conducting research to further the understanding of how the contemporary voice works and how we can keep it healthy. I actually met some of the Otterbein faculty at a conference recently. It’s exciting to see so more universities taking vocal health seriously.</p>

<p>VT</p>

<p>Prodesse, does your son go to Ithaca? At my son’s’ audition there last weekend, a current MT freshman told about being placed on total vocal rest soon after she arrived at school! </p>

<p>Yes, that’s got to be the same young woman you met, maMTma. Thankfully she is much better now. She got the damage during a summer stint as a “singing tour guide” and I really hope she lets her former employer know they must change the demands on those performers.</p>

<p>I have heard that some schools routinely “scope” their students to check for any damage. I don’t really know what that means – VoiceTeacher, can you fill us in?</p>

<p>Good question, prodesse! The ONLY way to know what’s really happening and with your voice and therefore what the most effective treatment will be is to have your vocal folds scoped (aka video stroboscopy). VoiceTeacher’s descriptions are generally correct but hemorrhage can happen without sudden voice change and sudden voice loss can have causes other than infection. These things are rare but when the student has an impending vocal demand, getting scoped ASAP is will guide your course of action most efficiently.</p>

<p>Here’s an explanation of scoping:
<a href=“http://voicemedicine.com/examinations/”>http://voicemedicine.com/examinations/</a></p>