It can be a scary thing to lose your voice.
I speak from experience.
As time passes and the voice does not bounce back, fear and panic can set in – “Is this more than a voice strain? Do I have permanent voice damage!?!”
When I lost my singing voice I tried everything I could to recover, but after two years of trying I finally resigned myself to a seemingly permanent loss. Eventually I did find someone with the techniques to help me recover – the same techniques that I now use with my clients.
More about Voice Strain & Damage
Straining the voice through improper usage (singing technique, yelling, unhealthy speech patterns) can cause VOICE TRAUMA. In turn, voice trauma can cause actual organic, structural changes to the voice – physical damage. This damage may heal on its own, or may require surgery. Whether the voice heals through rest (not using it) or surgery, if the underlying cause of the damage is not addressed, the voice trauma may occur again and again.
It can also work the other way around. A voice trauma caused by the common cold virus may be the initial problem, but trying to speak or sing while sick can create a disfunction in the way we use the voice. In other words, we can learn a bad voice habit which, once the cold is gone, we cannot easily break.
Voice Trauma can also be multifaceted, as I can personally attest. An individual may be using the voice improperly but not enough to cause a trauma. Add in a physical stressor (in my case, a whiplash injury), an emotional stressor (relationship issues), and a common cold (health issue) and the voice can collapse. I recall when the frontman for the Irish rock band, U2, lost his voice on their first world tour. I suspect that he had several voice factors against him and, adding the stress of the world tour, he experienced a vocal collapse. Same with Sir Elton John. Same with….well, the list goes on with popular artists every decade, it seems.
Fortunately, vocal training can help prevent and speed recovery from a number from voice traumas, such as:
- Cysts (post-surgery)
- Polyps (post-surgery)
- Muscular Tension Dysphonia (MTD)
- Vocal Fold Bowing