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Recovery after laryngitis - advice please


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#1 thouston


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Posted 10 February 2014 - 11:15

For the last couple of weeks I've had what I assume is laryngitis. I haven't felt particulary ill (just a bit tired for a few days). I haven't even had a sore throat but it's felt swollen when I swallow (like there's a golf ball in my throat) and I have only been able to speak very low (both in pitch and volume). Not croaky, just low. And I haven't been able to sing at all.


I've been resting it - only speaking when necessary, lots of warm liquids, etc, etc. Now my speaking voice has mostly returned and I feel fine, but so far I still can't sing. When I try testing it (by very gently humming) my range goes from around middle C DOWN an octave :wacko:  (normally my comfortable range starts a few notes below middle C and goes UP a couple of octaves).


When I try to sing more than a note or 2 above middle C it has the same feeling as being at the very highest note at the point when you cannot go any higher. Also, the tuning is off - by which I mean that it comes out flat until I hear what I'm doing and correct it. This implies to me that the vocal cords are swollen so are not giving predicted results, if that makes sense.


So my question to anybody that knows about these things is: at what point do I stop resting it and start gentle exercises? There must be a point at which the strategy changes from one to the other. I don't want to damage my voice, but I'm also worried about "use it or lose it".


I'm reluctant to go and see a doctor for several reasons: first, I'm basically healthy, and I don't believe in cluttering up a doctor's busy schedule at a time of year when lots of people are really ill.


Second, doctors in Italy do seem to have a tendency to pack you off with antibiotics as soon as look at you. Horrible sweeping generalisation I know, but that is my experience here. I don't want to take antibiotics unnecessarily.


Finally, I don't think the average GP is necessarily going to know or even care about whether I can sing or not - this comes into the same category as "sports injury" and I'd probably need to see a specialist. Frankly, I don't know how to go about doing that in Italy, nor am I convinced that I have the required language level either to explain the problem fully or understand the answers if it gets into technical detail.


I've never had anything quite like this before. I frequently lose my voice after a cold. Then it's a sore throat/croaky and it is normally fairly obvious when I can sing or not. This is different - with no pain or discomfort, I really cannot work out whether I should be resting or exercising.
I also don't know whether 2 weeks (and counting) is a normal, short or long time frame to have laryngitis.


Any advice - or failing that - moral support welcome. I feel like I've had an arm cut off, not being able to sing... :(  :(  :( 

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#2 linda.ff



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Posted 10 February 2014 - 11:38

Laryngitis on its own doesn't give you the symptoms you describe - swollen throat, difficulty swallowing - that sounds like an infection and the laryngitis is very likely a side effect of that. A doctor ought to look at you even if your speaking voice is suffering. An antibiotic might still be the answer

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#3 DaisyChain


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Posted 10 February 2014 - 12:32

Just after Christmas I started a cold which turned to 'flu which in turn ended up as laryngitis.  I couldn't speak let alone sing. I was extremely tired by the afternoon and spent a lot of time sleeping and feeling generally sorry for myself!  


It took a good three to four weeks and a course of antibiotics after the onset of the symptoms to start getting my voice back.  Leading up to my first singing lesson a couple of weeks ago, I did some very gentle exercises such as arpeggios, but kept to my lower register. As soon as I started to croak, I stopped.  My singing teacher was very good at my first lesson, and I managed half an hour of singing out of the hour. For the rest of the lesson we focused on the aural work for grade 8.  She advised me to carry on in the same vein as before for the fortnight leading up to my next lesson.  I managed to sing one song all the way through in that fortnight! Very very frustrating, but not worth risking further damage by pushing myself.


For my lesson last week, I managed my song for Egham but nothing else.  It's only now that I feel confident enough to practice a couple of songs at a time. My laryngitis is now clear but it's left me with a tickly cough still. 

I'm no doctor, but in winter of 2012, I had a bout of pharyngitis, which has similar symptoms to what you describe. A trip to the doctor would benefit as a course of antibiotics would help. I hope you feel better soon.

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#4 AnnC



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Posted 10 February 2014 - 18:27

"At what point do I stop resting it and start gentle exercises?"


When it no longer hurts at all when you swallow and no scratchy sensations at the back of the throat.

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#5 AndyJackson



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Posted 14 October 2021 - 04:20

Sorry to hear your suffering. I feel you should only stop resting and start any excercises once you are completely out of the pain and have no complications. I would also suggest you to consult with your physician and start taking medicines asap. To accelerate the pace of recovery you can try some great home remedies that are natural. I have tried iahas.com for some effective natural remedies. I used garlic, Ginger, Tulsi, Turmeric etc. and it really worked out. 

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#6 stetenorve



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Posted 14 October 2021 - 06:25

I would think the OP has recovered after 7 years!

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#7 Zixi


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Posted 14 October 2021 - 09:49

I would think the OP has recovered after 7 years!

Or is in the Guinness Book of Records.

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