Contact from a professional singer about Vocal Health

Recently I got an email from a singer in the USA asking about the video I made about nodules & how the voice works. I thought that you may be interested in the reply I gave:

EXCELLENT VIDEO
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POSTING THIS. I’M AN ADVANCED SINGER WHO OPTED OUT OF SURGERY FOR A VOCAL POLYP, HOPING IT WILL GO AWAY ENOUGH AND STAY AWAY.
I HAVE TAKEN ALL OF YOUR ADVICE. IS THERE ANYTHING I SHOULD KNOW REGARDING A POLYP VS. A NODULE? I’D BE VERY APPRECATIVE.BOB
USASO FAR MY VOICE HAS BEEN OKAY EXCEPT FOR A LITTLE MINOR SORENESS HERE AND THERE.

Hello Bob!

NodulesYes, vocal polyps can go away – about 6 years ago I myself was warned that I was at risk of developing vocal nodules if I did not take more care of myself & my voice. Hence the reason that I think it is so important to make videos informing people about this stuff. The great news is, in 3 – 6 months I got better & I hope for you that you will too.
I really was thrashing my voice, doing lots of gigging, singing teaching (the talking was perhaps the source of my vocal irritation) and probably just simply rushing around doing too much.
I know it sounds perhaps restrictive for now, but if you can do the following you have a much better chance of recovery.
1. Rest up! This means both physical rest for your body & vocalising rest for your voice. Send a text message or an email instead of leaving a voicemail, avoid speaking & singing altogether for a while as rest now will pay off.
2. Drink water &/or steam inhalations. When you drink, it takes a couple of days for the hydration to start positively affecting your vocal chords as it has to go through your whole system. When you drink it does not go anywhere near your vocal chords as the water goes down into your stomach. You will know this because if you drink water & it goes down the wrong way, all your layrnx wants to do is cough it out again so that it doesn’t go down into your lungs. Steam (when you breathe it in) DOES go to your vocal folds. A simple cup of hot water & breathing in the steam will do.
3. Stop smoking – if you do.
4. Avoid irritant foods/caffeine/dairy products
5. If you have a speech therapist, ask if they can measure if you are always speaking at the same pitch? I was, and so now if my voice feels like it is getting tired, I use different voice qualities & different pitches to mix things up a little bit & ensure that my vocal folds are not always coming together at the same point again & again.
6. Reduce time spent with people or situations which make you feel distressed – the laynx is super sensitive to stress. Shouting is a big cause of vocal trauma.
7. Treat yourself nicely for a few months! 🙂
Do let me know how you get on! All the very best of luck, Chip

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