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Remedies for diminished voice

18 Jul 19 - 10:44 AM (#4001067)
Subject: Remedies for diminished voice
From: Cool Beans

My wife's voice has suddenly lost power and sounds gravelly. It's not laryngitis. She does clear her throat a lot and has been for months. She's seeing a doctor next week, but have any 'catters faced this problem? If so, has it been alleviated or are we looking at the end of her singing career? It's not a major source of income but it is a major source of joy. Thanks in advance.

18 Jul 19 - 11:04 AM (#4001073)
Subject: RE: Remedies for diminished voice
From: GUEST,Mark Ross

Had the same problem, went to voice therapy. I was told it was a vocal tremor. Voice exercises have made it a little better. I'm still working on it, still singing.

Mark Ross

18 Jul 19 - 12:25 PM (#4001086)
Subject: RE: Remedies for diminished voice
From: Tattie Bogle

She would be best to get her doctor to refer her to ENT (otolaryngology) for a proper assessment of what is going on her vocal cords, especially as she has had some symptoms for a while. There are a number of possible diagnoses. I had a viral attack on my larynx some years ago, which gave me a very hoarse voice and repeated attacks of croup: it had partially paralysed the vocal cord on one side: it recovered over subsequent months, and I was then able to sing again.
There was another thread on this problem a couple of years back, which you might find on a search for voice problems.
Good luck to your wife, and hope she finds a simple solution.

18 Jul 19 - 12:45 PM (#4001090)
Subject: RE: Remedies for diminished voice
From: sleepyjon

Is she on any (unrelated) medication? - watch for side effects - in my case it was Lisinopril - quote from Dr G. Oogle: "Lisinopril is a blood pressure medication. It causes side effects in some patients. The most common side effect is a persistent cough." Seems that everyone knew but me! I happened to overhear a couple of singers chatting about how they couldn't sing for the coughing, so spoke to the Doc who instantly took me off the pills. Instant success.


20 Jul 19 - 06:16 AM (#4001271)
Subject: RE: Remedies for diminished voice
From: GUEST,Cujimmy

I have had a similar problem over the last year or so. When I talk, sometimes I have to cough or clear my throat - and it was affecting my singing which I really enjoy. does this sound similar. Anyway I went to the Doctor and he said I have "Reflux". So I have been taking a medication similar to Gaviscon, which takes away excess acid in my stomach. Some people with Reflux get heartburn etc, Im not as badly affected as that, in fact Im generally very healthy, but I love singing / going to Folk Clubs etc and was very concerned. Anyway the medication has helped, it is called Peptac and can be bought at Lloyds chemist for 3. Hope this is helpfull.

20 Jul 19 - 07:45 AM (#4001281)
Subject: RE: Remedies for diminished voice
From: Bonnie Shaljean

She needs to be careful about the constant throat-clearing (i.e don't!) because it abrades the vocal cords, and if done repeatedly can damage them (so will whispering, which is not any kind of "voice saver"). Take a look at the thread below, and also the others linked in blue at the top of the page, which deals with a related issue: vocal wear and overstrain.

I'm worried that by trying to force her voice through the hoarseness, and repeatedly "clear" the phlegm, your wife is doing her cords grave harm. This becomes permanent after a certain point, if it's aggraveted enough, so - whatever the cause of the problem - you also need to be deal with its effects. I'm so sorry to be such a downer, but it's imperative that she rest her voice until it is healed, no matter how the trouble got started. Do please give this thread a read, and best of luck.

My voice is heavily damaged! HELP!

20 Jul 19 - 08:18 AM (#4001284)
Subject: RE: Remedies for diminished voice
From: Bonnie Shaljean

There's also this thread:

Damaged vocal Folds through Throat Clear

20 Jul 19 - 09:57 AM (#4001288)
Subject: RE: Remedies for diminished voice
From: Cool Beans

Hi friends, this is Laura (the wife). Thanx for your kind offerings! Even tho I'm seeing my PCP on Thursday, I thought it wiser to go to Urgent Care yesterday. Indeed, I needed to begin medication (Prednisone), a steroid, more in the beginning of the week to tapering off by the week's end. NO SINGING or whispering and even the Pharmacist said talk less (Hamilton). My PCP should see improvement by Thursday and if not (oy), go from there. Fingers crossed.

20 Jul 19 - 11:50 AM (#4001294)
Subject: RE: Remedies for diminished voice
From: Bonnie Shaljean

We'll all be pulling for you! Keep us informed of how you get on, and best of luck.

20 Jul 19 - 01:32 PM (#4001303)
Subject: RE: Remedies for diminished voice

For various reasons, over twenty years ago I stopped singing regularly
I restarted again about four/five years ago, and found I had lost a number of my songs, my pitch had reduced and I could no longer manage ones that needed 'hard' tones without bursting into coughing fits
The length of time I could spend without having a break had also reduced considerably
Luckily, I had been introduced to exercises - (voice, singing and relaxation) - that had enabled me to find my 'natural' physical voice'
After a few months I had most of my old songs back and now can sing for as long as people will tolerate my doing so   
Your voice is a toolbox with which you carve out your art - keep the tools in good order and (unless you haven't developed physical problems), there is no reason why you can't go on creating with it indefinitely.
I was persuaded quite early that you first need to find the voice that comes natural to you, then, which work and exercises, you push out the boundaries to as far as you need to take it.
I believe that relaxation is the least to most problems - uncontrolled tension not only limits the breathring, but can actually damage the voive

I believe that going to most 'voice' specialists is a waste of time and, given the state of the Health services, no hard-pressed doctor will be willing to give their time to something as 'trivial' ass singing
Many of us were told when young that we "couldn't sing", yet, found that we had no problems when we tried our hands at folk songs
I believe the 'natural' voice common to folk singing is considered "ugly' by the art establishment and by many teachers (it was in my youth)
If you can't make a half decent job of 'Cherry Ripe' as a baritone or a tenor, you'll never make a singer
Good luck
Jim Carroll

20 Jul 19 - 01:35 PM (#4001305)
Subject: RE: Remedies for diminished voice

Sorry fior the typos (need exercisess for my typing
Shouls have written
"I believe that relaxation is the key to most problems -

21 Jul 19 - 05:39 AM (#4001362)
Subject: RE: Remedies for diminished voice
From: BobKnight

Sing every day. Not while you have a problem of course, but if you sing every day, it definitely strengthens the voice. You wouldn't run a marathon without exercising, and it's the same with the voice.

21 Jul 19 - 11:18 AM (#4001413)
Subject: RE: Remedies for diminished voice
From: Tattie Bogle

Diagnosis comes before treatment. Make sure you get a diagnosis first, Laura.

21 Jul 19 - 12:17 PM (#4001428)
Subject: RE: Remedies for diminished voice
From: Bonnie Shaljean

Amen to that. And healing comes before singing.

21 Jul 19 - 02:00 PM (#4001443)
Subject: RE: Remedies for diminished voice
From: Thompson

This happened to me a few years ago; it seems to be getting better suddenly now - but only when I remember to sing in a much deeper register than was my norm. I'm singing on the bicycle, when in not-too-crowded areas, to try and get my tunes back.

Good luck to Laura the wife ;) with her medical appointments and her voice.