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What is the recovery time for a lost voice?

By Anonymous March 30, 2010 - 5:42pm
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Hi lost my voice over 4 days ago and there are no signs of it returning. I can't even make a hoarse sound, all i can do is whisper. I lost it at a concert, and then made the situation worse by talking continuously the next day (and went to a birthday party where i spoke loudly over the music) I rested it for the two whole days, drank teas, honey, breathed in steam, the whole works. Now that I'm back at school its hard to refrain from using my voice but i do have to whisper sometimes. I have never heard of this taking so long to recover so i'm wondering whether i should see a doctor. What is the expected recovery time for this condition?
Thank you!

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EmpowHER Guest

I'm a professional singer, this is an easy one if you know how. First whispering is worse for your vocal folds than speaking, never whisper when voice is gone. Steam is good, do it for 2 minutes as it's the fastest way to hydrate the vocal folds. A small pot with a lid, boil water to a fury so the steam lasts 2 minutes, take pot to below chin and lift lid a little, breath in slowly, replace lid and repeat for 2 mins. THEN, here's the part that works. Sing all 5 vowels in falsetto. Nothing may come out at first, start as high as you can, then go higher. Falsetto (head voice) realigns the vocal folds to proper position. Do this, with 10 second breaks as you'll feel it in your head, for 5-10 minutes. You'll find U, or oooos, are easier than AAAA's. Do all five until you can sing all five. The longer it goes you'll hear the rasp start to vanish, 15 minutes later voice is back. Once it is shut up for a couple hours if possible, and repeat singing part. (and steam if needed) I can take anyone from a Metal concert who screamed their head off the night before with no voice and bring them back to life, this is how, and I use it too if I didn't cool down after a show properly. (or had a Jack and Coke afterwards like I'm not supposed to)

March 28, 2015 - 6:03am
EmpowHER Guest

I just wanted to say that was a fantastic blog!

July 1, 2014 - 1:04am
HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon - It's difficult to tell what you have, and how long you may have it, without a physical exam. It does, however, sound like laryngitis which is the swelling of the mucous membrane of the larynx (voicebox). This swelling usually involves the vocal cords, and leads to hoarseness or even complete loss of voice. It's not clear what you were doing before you lost your voice. Laryngitis can be caused by Irritation from voice overuse (yelling, singing, and speaking loudly for extended periods of time) and several other factors.

The EmpowHER reference page on laryngitis provides more information on the causes and treatment. Please review this to see if this describes what you're experiencing. http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/laryngitis#definition

If the condition persists for more than 2-3 weeks it would be best to see your physician for an evaluation and treatment.
Take care, Pat

March 31, 2010 - 5:08pm
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