What would happen to your voice if you stopped talking

Everyone at one time or another loses their voice or experienceshoarseness such as when we have a bad cold, or the morning after singing at a loud concert, or cheering at a sports

What would happen to your voice if you stopped talking

Everyone at one time or another loses their voice or experienceshoarseness such as when we have a bad cold, or the morning after singing at a loud concert, or cheering at a sports event.

While these conditions can temporarily damage our vocal cords, with a little care  such as vocal rest and good hydration  we should recover fairly quickly.

Sometimes, though,vocal problemspersist, and thats when you need to take action to avoid long-term or permanent damage. Here are three signs you should seekvoice care.

1. Two weeks of persistent hoarseness or voice change

Hoarseness is a general term that can encompass a wide range of sounds, such as a raspy or breathy voice. While hoarseness often is caused by a cold or extended periods of talking or yelling, it also can be a symptom of a more serious condition such as a growth on the vocal cords, including polyps or cysts.

Many of these growths often can be treated through voice therapy, although surgery may be required. As with most medical conditions, early detection is key. If you experience a voice change such as hoarseness for two weeks or more, make an appointment to see a laryngologist. A laryngologist is an Otolaryngologist (ENT) who specializes in the vocal cords and care of the voice.

3. Throat pain or discomfort with voice use

If you feel like you have to exert a great deal of energy to produce your voice, thats not normal.

During normal vocalization, only the vocal cords should move.However, sometimes we use the muscles in our neck to help produce sound, leading to muscle strain. You may not be able to see this in a mirror, but through a laryngoscopy, we can see the muscles on the inside of your throat straining when you speak or sing.

Again, voice therapy will help you learn how to relax these muscles during vocalization.

What to expect during a vocal care appointment

If youre a professional voice user, we may recommend that you schedule a joint clinic appointment, which means that you will see a laryngologist and a voice therapist at the same time. We will take your medical history, perform an exam, including laryngeal videostroboscopy so that your vocal cords can be viewed while you are producing various sounds, and begin working with you on vocal exercises.

Voice therapy usually consists of one 45 minute-long session per week for four to six weeks. After just a few sessions, you should feel like you are producing sound in a more efficient, healthy way, but translating those skills into daily conversation takes practice and repetition. Stick with it, and your voice will thank you.

If you are experiencing chronic hoarseness, vocal fatigue, or pain while producing sound, request an appointment with a laryngologist or call 214-645-8898.

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