As a singer, your vocal cords are extremely important, but unfortunately, they can also be quite fragile. Through overuse or improper singing techniques, you can eventually form small, benign growths on your vocal cords that are similar to callouses and are called nodules. These vocal nodules can leave you hoarse, in discomfort, and unable to sing in your normal voice until they heal. If you have been diagnosed with vocal cord nodules or worry about getting them, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Prepare to Rest Your Voice
This is not the time to audition for that big new musical that will be touring for months. Until your vocal nodules heal, it is important to rest your voice as much as possible. This means limiting your singing, but also being mindful of casual overuse of your voice.
Loud shouting and laughing, giving long presentations at work, and singing along with the radio in the car should all be avoided until you get the go-ahead from your doctor, and even then you should avoid overusing your vocal cords to prevent future vocal nodules from forming. Once your nodules heal, make an effort to rest your voice after performances and whenever you are sick.
Seek Voice Disorder Therapy
Vocal nodules and other benign growths on your vocal cords are considered voice disorders since they affect your singing and speaking voice. In order to heal your nodules and learn better breathing, warmup, and singing techniques, it is a good idea to sign up for sessions with a voice disorder therapist. In particular, you should look for a voice disorder therapist who specializes in working with singers. They will give you exercises to do both in their office and at home that will help soothe, heal, and protect your vocal cords from now on.
In cases where your vocal nodules are severe and do not respond to rest and voice therapy, surgery may be your best option. Luckily, modern surgical techniques allow nodules to be removed with the use of microscopic tools. Your surgeon will go through your mouth while you are asleep under anesthesia, and no incisions are usually needed into your throat or skin. In some cases, your surgeon may use lasers instead. You will be sore and need to rest after surgery, but recovery is usually short.
Following these tips will allow your vocal cords to heal and prevent the development of future vocal cord nodules.Contact a clinic, like Evergreen Speech & Hearing Clinic, Inc., for more help.