how to fix a voice that became throaty bc of cigarettes

Posted in Category Open Discussion
  • R
    Ron 4 years ago

    22 years old guy, never smoked until 6 months ago.

    my voice and my body were clear and clean until i started smoking and i really got carried away. my body wasn't used to it.

    I noticed the damage it causes when i started to cough a lot but I didn't really care because i was in a very bad state of mind. one day i woke up without a voice, like totally, couldnt speak.

    then i decided to stop altogether.

    im clean for 2 month, but my voice is still not what it was, it's getting back but my vibrato is very throaty and weak. also my voice is shakey and now its harder for me now to breathe.

    my question is, how can i get my voice back without demeging it on the way becausre i literally force my throat after a 10 minute train and also, I fake, is it even possible to return to what it was?

    im so depressed, i had a very strong beautiful voice....

  • C
    Camille van Niekerk 4 years ago

    Hey, Ron!

    I feel for you. And I first want to say: congratulations on quitting! That's the best thing you could have done for your voice. 

    After some searching on forums with past smokers, it sounds like it's possible to get your voice back, but that it can take several months. Here's an interesting timeline I found: Based on that info, I'd expect to hear results closer to the 6-month mark, when the irritation has gone down and your voice is starting to heal. 

    The question that I can't answer for you is: what do your vocal folds look like right now? Is there damage that would warrant treatment, or is there just residual swelling and irritation causing the changes you're describing?

    My recommendation is to have you rest your voice completely (or as much as possible) and take a break from vocal training until you get some advice from your doctor. They can give you a more accurate timeline and let you know if it would be worth coming in for a checkup. The reason is: if you do have some vocal damage, then exercises won't fix that, and can even make it worse. Vocal rest is sometimes the only treatment needed (depending on the type of damage), but sometimes other treatment is required. Without seeing your vocal folds, we can't know for sure!

    The safest (and cheapest) option is to go on vocal rest. Your voice will heal faster if it's not in use. The typical rule of thumb for seeing your doctor is if you're experiencing hoarseness (or other symptoms like loss of range, inability to sing quietly, etc) for 2 weeks or longer. But in your case, we know there's most likely swelling and irritation as the result of smoking and coughing. 

    Once your swelling and irritation have gone down, then you can start training with the gentlest exercises possible: singing through a straw is great, as is singing on an MM, NN, or NG. But I'm not recommending singing at all until you get the okay from a doctor to do so! See if you can get a telephone appointment and ask for their advice on the best course of action: vocal rest (and for how long) or getting seen. 

    Time is on your side, Ron! You didn't smoke for that long, and you're young. I know it's so hard to wait, but I truly think waiting and resting are the best thing you can do right now. 

  • R
    Ron 4 years ago

    thank you so much.

  • C
    Camille van Niekerk 4 years ago

    You're welcome, Ron!

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