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  • I Keep Losing My Voice… (Singing Teachers)

    Posted by Eliza Fyfe on February 28, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Need advice about my own vocals… I keep losing my voice. I teach 35 students and gig most weekends, but only backing vocals. I constantly wreck my voice and lose the upper register. I only sang a couple of songs tonight and it’s gone again. Nothing in my lifestyle has changed; I don’t understand this. I drink tea and have honey and vocalzones. I smoke my e-cig a lot, but then I’ve been doing so for a year now… Any ideas?

    Veronica Wakeling replied 2 years, 6 months ago 9 Members · 37 Replies
  • 37 Replies
  • Ruth Adamson

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    go docs n get your throat checked out just incase.. i told one of my students that previously smoked to go she found 2 cysts on her vocal chords.. prob won’t be that but I don’t understand it either if your warming up properly etc?

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Well I warm up every day with the students as it is, but yeah, did consider doctor’s

  • Matt Pocock

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Yeah, defo get someone to go have a look at your voice. Do you belt a lot in lessons?

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    No I don’t actually. Also, just a normal doctor?

  • Kat Hunter

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Go to a normal doctor, insist there’s something wrong and you need more help, and get referred to an ENT.

  • Kat Hunter

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    (don’t take no for an answer! 🙂)

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Ok. I’m worried now

  • Kat Hunter

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    haha don’t be. It’s not that you’ll actually need more help, it’s more that I’ve found the UK medical system is based on telling people there’s nothing wrong with them and turning them away until the last possible moment to cut down waiting lists. Better to see an ENT because they’ll be able to check you out properly and put your fears aside once and for all (if you get a laryngoscopy that will be awesome to see as a vocal teacher!). Whereas a doctor will say “I’m sure it’s probably fine, just come back in a month if it’s still bothering you”, which is what doctors say about everything and is never helpful (sorry, just cynical haha).

  • Laura Ratcliffe

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    I don’t trust e-cigs At all – try knocking them on the head for a few weeks if you can

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    I don’t know how to deal with my stress without nicotine!!!

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks Kat 🙂 will do

  • Matt Pocock

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Yeah I agree with Laura – I read the packet of ingredients on an e-cig once and it’s amazing how dangerous some of the parts are! Also, how’s your hydration?

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Well I’m always crap with water cos I just hate it and I wee all the time lol!

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    But I drink it for the gym and I have a lot of tea

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    You can’t win; I opted for e-cigs so I could actually be healthier! I don’t understand; it’s only vapour. It probably dries out the throat but why am I only noticing losing my voice now? Unless I’ve just given it a year of gradual e-cig damage. Will be interesting to see what ENT says

  • Matt Pocock

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Yeah – the water’s probably the thing then. Tea’s not amazing for hydration since the caffeine dries you out and the hot tea slows down your intake of fluids.

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Still, I think there’s more to it than that. These are only very slight things I think. I’ve always managed before

  • Matt Pocock

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    That’s true – but a small change in habits can make a big difference. Maybe try cutting the e-cigs to weekends-only and keeping a 2L bottle by your side for a couple of weeks?

  • Matt Pocock

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Although defo worth seeking the ENT’s help as well – never trust the word of a bald man. We’ve got nothing to lose.

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Hahaha xxxxx

  • Beckie Tunnicliffe

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    I agree with going to a doctor, I’ve had lots if experience of being fobbed off so if they tell you everything is fine, go and see another one and get a second opinion and stress how concerned you are and you won’t rest until you have that referral!

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Ok will do. Could stress have something to do with it?

  • Beckie Tunnicliffe

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    It’s possible, stress can affect us in many different ways

  • Pauline Carville

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Stress has a lot to do with it! You need to drink at least 2 litres of water per day and you also need vocal rest somewhere in your week as you maybe just doing too much for your body hence the stress! Hope you feel better soon!

  • Matt Pocock

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    I’d even go further and say as much as a gallon (4.5 litres) a day for heavy voice users like us folks!

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Ok, there is no way my bladder will ever be able to hold that much

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    I’m really pissed off with the doctor. I saw who I thought was a really good one, who said “right, only come to me now and I’ll monitor all the problems.” (Have allergy issues that are like constant hayfever and rashes) she said she would refer me to an ENT when I asked, as I keep losing my voice and it’s my career. She was understanding and said she’ll be able to get an ENT to see me, and that the one I would see specialises in vocalists. Couldn’t believe my luck! She then prescribed me shit loads of drugs which cost over £30 (walking pharmacy, as usual) which was to sort some stuff out while I waited to hear from ENT. Sure enough, I had a message from the doctor saying the ENT had been in touch and suggested indigestion tablets before I went to see her. Wtf?! So now I’m meant to buy even more drugs which are completely pointless and I already told her I didn’t need?! Can’t get in touch with doc before Tuesday now. Currently ill with a cough and cold, allergy triggered, sick of all the drugs I’m pumping into my body and have no answers and NO ENT!!! (I’m all good for drugs though)

  • Matt Pocock

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    I think they’re just guarding against acid reflux – have you felt like you’ve had heartburn recently?

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    No. She already asked me that and I said no!

  • Kat Hunter

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    I second what Matt is saying. You can often get acid reflux in your sleep and not know about it, and the symptoms it presents with are very similar to that if you have allergies. If anything the indigestion tablets are probably to make doubly sure that anything the ENT sees in the laryngoscopy is purely down to allergies and not something else.

  • Kat Hunter

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    (both acid reflux and allergies feel similar, they both swell the vocal folds (laryngitis) and they both tend to be worse in the morning. The ENT is probably just trying to cover all the bases before the examination)

  • Kat Hunter

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    (I know it’s annoying though. Drugs are no fun)

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Oh right. Well why didn’t they just say that?

  • Ruth Adamson

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    one of my previous smokers who had cysts has acid reflux x

  • Matt Pocock

    Member
    February 28, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Mmm – same as one of the people on my course. And that’s true what Kat says about it being in your sleep, I get that a lot.

  • Monika Welch

    Member
    March 1, 2021 at 11:27 am

    Hi Eliza, sorry to hear about your vocal issues. My guess would be that it’s mostly e-cigarettes causing your problems (or / and allergies?). The vapour produced during vaping is highly irritating and it is inhaled passed the vocal cords, which causes inflammation of the lining of your cords and throat. Your best bet will be to speak to an ENT specialist, but meanwhile, perhaps you could also try stopping e-cigs for a week or so to see if this helps? Best wishes 🙂

  • Veronica Wakeling

    Member
    September 24, 2021 at 2:22 pm

    Take good luck at your own technique.You are working it seems to capacity.An opera singer is often singing either solo or in chorus for 2 hours,so they do not use voice at all in periods of no required usage.Rest the voice…then rest it again…..

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