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Chronic sore throat and loss of voice due to stress?
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Chronic sore throat and loss of voice due to stress?

Hello, I've only just joined so please excuse me if this is in the wrong place/format/whatever, but I realyl do need some advice.

Some basic background...I am a 20 year old Musical Theatre student with a passion for singing, I had been thoroughly enjoying university and was experiencing no problems whatsoever with my throat until last January in which I went for a singing audition.

This was the first audition I had been too that required singing, regardless I felt relatively confident in my own ability and spent the entire night before hand practicing my songs. The next day I woke up with a slight tingling in my throat that I put down to nerves, yet as the day went on it got worse and worse. After the audition I went on vocal rest for 2 weeks (with no talking whatsoever), drank honey and lemon, steamed, added a humidifier to my room -- I literally tried everything to get rid of it.

Long story short, I haven't ever recovered. 8 months on the throat is worse than it's ever been and I have lost my singing voice entirely. I wake up in intense pain, which seems to dull through the day but get worse again through the night. My voice has gotten husky and it's hard to talk and produce sound.

In this timespan I have been to the local GP 6 times to be prescribed basic bacterial medication. It didn't work, so I went to see an ENT specialist. He stated that the muscles around my throat were incredibly tight and suggested I see a throat osteopath. He also prescribed me some medicine for acid reflux just in case, but this did nothing. I went to see the throat osteopath and he massaged my throat -- yet afterwards my throat felt worse and was in more pain. I then went to see a voice specialist, who said that the pain and vocal sound quality was most likely caused by bad speaking habits, yet she couldn't figure out what they were. 6 2-hour sessions later my throat was no better. She suggested it is probably down to stress.

So from here I went to see a hypnotherapist as a last resort. He said that he agreed it was down to stress and promised to relax me/make my throat better. After the session I did feel more relaxed and was finding it easier to think positive. However, a week and a half on my throat is still dreadful. I am trying my best to try and ignore the voice pains as the hypnotherapist said my constant attention towards the pain is making it get worse -- but it's impossible to ignore something that is causing you so much pain and, is eventually, going to be my career choice.

Has anyone else ever suffered sore throat/loss of voice due to stress? I really don't know what to do now, yet I'm finding it incredibly hard to destress when I'm at university and spend each day in so much mental/physical pain. Sorry for the incredibly long post!
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Avatar_m_tn
                I sing a little myself and you can strain your voice and it will take quit awhile to regain control of the voice box. You may need antibiotics, if not plan on 3 or 4 months relaxing your voice.   Ice cream low fat no sugar is good for throat remember to easy does it.
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1744282_tn?1314068899
Thyroid problem maybe get it checked for sure or trecha you need a ear nose and throat dr.
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Avatar_f_tn
I've strained my voice before.
I went to see a doctor and they told me to wisper, and not scream, especially sing for a little bit.
HOT SOUP and ice water always helped for me....
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm a speech pathology grad student specializing in vocal rehabilitation for people of high-stress vocal professions, like public speakers and musicians. I'm also a classical vocalist, so I'm well aware of the demands of practice and performance that musicians face! I hate to suggest this, but the combination of improper singing technique, stress induced tension, and inflammation due to infection may have damaged your voice. I see this kind of condition ALL the time, especially in musical theatre and pop singing, where belting is prevalent. That kind of technique is just incredibly hard on the vocal structure, so injuries occur more often. Being in musical theatre, I'm sure you've heard of nodules? In addition to those, there are many other injuries that your vocal chords could have sustained (paralysis, strain to any of the musculature, polyps, the list goes on. It's a delicate mechanism in our bodies, and there are a host of problems that can occur. Many people simply write them off as "hoarseness" since we can't actually see the problem.)

Have you been to see an ENT?? You should really, really get a throat scope. I'm surprised your GP doctors didn't suggest it. You really need to make sure you don't have nodules, a polyp, or any other type of damage to your vocal chords. You say you were on vocal rest? Good! Continue to rest your voice, no singing, until you can get a proper videostroboscopy of your throat. If there is any damage, you wouldn't want to cause any further from overuse. In fact, when you need to speak, don't whisper. That simply forces the vocal chords open as dry air passes over them, which can cause dehydration and further inflammation.

I am strongly suggesting that you set up an appointment with an ENT immediately!! If there is no damage, then that will be one less thing on your list of possible causes. I really hope you find and treat the cause of your problem! I know how terrible a vocal injury can feel. Best of luck to you.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for all the comments! See this is why I'm completely lost -- I've already seen TWO ENT specialists, and both have said that they don't have a clue as my vocal folds and throat seem to be working perfectly, apart from a slight bit of redness. They even went as far to say that continuing singi on it would do no harm. They put it down to possible bad speaking habits and things I do subconsciously -- but as I have had a perfectly healthy voice for 19 years I find this a bit hard to swallow.

That's why I'm curious as to whether my constant worry and stress about my voice loss and the future of my career is the sole culprit all along?
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