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Phlegm. Anyone have a problem with it sometimes?

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PaulHart
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Seems I'm getting hung up on some notes because of phlegm or whatever in my throat. I'll crack and can't hold so I'll clear my throat and then I can, for a minute, and then it's back. Is there anything that helps reduce or relieve that issue? I don't seem to have any excessive drainage or cold or anything.

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Some time back I posted a similar thread as I was having the same problem. I am attributing it to allergies although I had no other symptoms. It eventually went away. I get it every once and awhile now but not often. I did get it last week but I sang a lot that day and my voice was getting hammered. It started to break up.

When I was getting it alot back at the time of the thread I just drank a lot of water. Also, I sing a lot of Blues stuff so I figured I'd use the extra kind of rasp :D But I know, it's annoying. I Can't help you stop it, but it has happened to me. I ride it out.

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YUP! Regular thing for me. Take a Claratin each day, it helps. Find out if you have allergies. I did (dust). Also, when I get it in my chest, this stuff helps: http://www.swansonvitamins.com/PH043/ItemDetail?SourceCode=INTL070&mkwid=s1058870405&pcrid=8419101367&gclid=CKfOxf3O87ACFSUbQgodaSSaSw and of course, water water water. Stay away from sugar.

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i get it almost all the time and it truly sucks.

watch out for what you eat!

dairy products (especially cheese like feta, gargonzola), wheat, high sugared processed foods, chips, doritos, basically crap foods.

drink more water, 64 ozs., at least

allergies, sinus drip

reflux, 80% of singers have reflux. it can be without symptoms!

make sure you warm up, humming can help loosen it.

and last but not least, bad singing and speaking habits. if you irritate the folds, the body produces more mucus to help protect the folds from damage. it can become a neverending cycle.

good luck!!

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i get it almost all the time and it truly sucks.

watch out for what you eat!

dairy products (especially cheese like feta, gargonzola), wheat, high sugared processed foods, chips, doritos, basically crap foods.

drink more water, 64 ozs., at least

allergies, sinus drip

reflux, 80% of singers have reflux. it can be without symptoms!

make sure you warm up, humming can help loosen it.

and last but not least, bad singing and speaking habits. if you irritate the folds, the body produces more mucus to help protect the folds from damage. it can become a neverending cycle.

good luck!!

VIDEOHERE That about sums it up. That, and stay out of Nashville and, I guess, Texas too. I find that not everyone has the expected allergic reaction to dairy prodoucts, but if you're not sure, pass up that milkshake just to be safe.

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That's the difficult thing about a mucous attack -- there are several possible points of origin.

1) Is it caused by an allergic reaction to an external or internal substance?

2) Does it signal the onset of a viral illness?

3) Is it brought on by vocal strain caused by:

a) over use

B) bad technique

c) no technique

d) over-reaching high note attempts

e) pushing the voice -- all hills and no valleys

f) unnecessarily loud singing

Excessive mucous is one of the signals the body uses to alert us that something is wrong. We should welcome the 'heads up' so we can search for a cause.

Does anybody want to add to the list of possible culprits and/or suggest how to tell them apart so you can erect a line of defense?

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You can try Vocalzones. These things are great - they are completely natural and based on licorice, which is fantastic for the throat. They seem to keep the throat ideally hydrated and they clear out all phlem. Seems to disolve the phlem. I'll use one before a recording session, and even during practicing sometimes if I'm really pushing myself.

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That's the difficult thing about a mucous attack -- there are several possible points of origin.

1) Is it caused by an allergic reaction to an external or internal substance?

2) Does it signal the onset of a viral illness?

3) Is it brought on by vocal strain caused by:

a) over use

B) bad technique

c) no technique

d) over-reaching high note attempts

e) pushing the voice -- all hills and no valleys

f) unnecessarily loud singing

Excessive mucous is one of the signals the body uses to alert us that something is wrong. We should welcome the 'heads up' so we can search for a cause.

Does anybody want to add to the list of possible culprits and/or suggest how to tell them apart so you can erect a line of defense?

This should be a sticky post, pardon the pun.

And I can still oversing, as well. I am already able to sing quite loud. So, yesterday, I put in my cd of "Dio Anthology." And even though I am not trying to match Dio's timbre, distortion, heavy bottom end, I am still singing "loud" because that is what the music has sounded like to me, for so long. A sound ideal, in my head. No, it did not create phlegm. But this thread and that effort made me think about your words, Renee.

Yes, the body can produce more mucus to either catch and contain contaminants, or to provide more soothing effort to a strain or overuse. The membrane just above the true vocal folds are what has been labeled, erroneously in my opinion, the false vocal folds (FVF.) The are not folds, they are barely more than a bump or ridge in most people, except through genetic mutation. It is thought that they form a vestibule that aids what is called the first formant. But their precise anatomical function is to release mucus out over the true folds for the purpose of hydration and therefore, protection. In fact, a contaminant enters, the mucus increases to catch the dust in a goopy mess. Your voice sounds crackly as the mucus forms bubbles that prevent clean adduction. Then you clear your throat and expel the whole mess and, voila' , clean tone, again.

The FVF are not activated by conscious muscle control, themselves. When you swallow, the larynx rises, pushing up against the membrane reducing any assistance to the first formant, if it actually helped to begin with. And then, conjunctively, the epiglottal flap closes over all of that to prevent food and drink from entering the vocal folds and the respiratory system.

Anyway, yeah, the mucus membrane is there to respond to any abuse of the folds, be it singing or breathing a contaminant. And rightly so, one should address the situations that cause the body's immune response, so to speak.

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i occasionally use fisherman's friend extra strong lozenges for throat relief.

also, i wanted to mention that some folks out there might be allergic to sulfites. i just found out that sulfites can cause cold-like symptoms in some folks.

sulfites are used for food preservation in a lot of processed foods, like vinegar, wines, and tomato sauces.

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Bob - I checked out Fisherman's Friend - Like VocalZones they are also licorice based. I bet those are great - I'm going to have to try some. VocalZones were developed in the late 1800's for Enrico Caruso - and Fisherman's Friend was also developed in the late 1800's.

Licorice is great for the throat. It keeps the throat lubricated and disolves phlem. It is also a natural expectorant which suppresses coughs.

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I use a product called Burt's Bees It contains about 35% honey and the other ingredients are pretty close to Fisherman's Friend (Fisherman's has more menthol). I wondered, however, if too much menthol may numb the throat too much. The reason I don't use Fisherman's Friend or products like Throat Coat and other throat soothers/lubricators and teas is because some contain licorice. Licorice effects some meds and it's said it should be used with caution (or avoided) if you have heart disease, which I do.

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i occasionally use fisherman's friend extra strong lozenges for throat relief.

also, i wanted to mention that some folks out there might be allergic to sulfites. i just found out that sulfites can cause cold-like symptoms in some folks.

sulfites are used for food preservation in a lot of processed foods, like vinegar, wines, and tomato sauces.

And, to add to that, not only are some people allergic to sulfites, but those compounds can also aggravate conditions for asthmatics. And a number of asthmatics suffer from allergies. From what I can see, asthma is, among other things, the body's overreaction to allergies and alien substances.

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Great suggestions. Especially about the licorice. It's one of my favorites and, thanks to you, I now have a reason to indulge...

Oh, BTW, that reminds me of the year I spent as media spokesperson for the Cepacol brand. Highly reputable large corporation with lots of products for singers. My problem was I was concerned about the anesthetizing properties of some throat remedies rhat numb the throat. Your throat does get pain relief, but pain is Nature's way of letting us know something is wrong. And that we should give it a rest. This left me with a moral dilemma, since I had already cashed their generous check. So I solved it by sticking to their script but adding a warning at the end of every interview.

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Renee - when I was in high school I would get a lot of sore throats - I had a low grade sinus infection that just wouldn't go away until surgery. During that time I would use the Cepacol throat spray all the time. Looking back, I don't think it was a good idea - it did numb the throat and I agree - that is not good for a singer. You need to feel what you are doing, or you can do damage without knowing it.

Tommy - Thanks for the heads up about licorice and Heart disease. They say that with heart disease you shouldn't take more than 5 grams of licorice per day. The vocalzones are really great - but they do contain a little bit of licorice extract - not sure how much.

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Renee - when I was in high school I would get a lot of sore throats - I had a low grade sinus infection that just wouldn't go away until surgery. During that time I would use the Cepacol throat spray all the time. Looking back, I don't think it was a good idea - it did numb the throat and I agree - that is not good for a singer. You need to feel what you are doing, or you can do damage without knowing it.

Geno, just curious -- was that surgery for tonsils or sinus/nasal obstruction? It didn't seem to hurt you. I really like the way you sing. BTW do you still perform and record?

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Renee - Thanks a lot! That's a huge compliment coming from you!

I forgot the name of the surgery, but they drained my maxillary sinuses. They put me under and I never felt anything. Had no impact on my voice. I did have my tonsils taken out later when I was in college. And that didn't seem to have any impact on my voice either.

I don't play out anymore - My wife and I have two young girls and just can't afford the time. But I do record a lot at home. I've been practicing vocals now more than ever. I'm really excited - I'm going to the Gino Vannelli master class in two weeks - art of voice and art of song. So I'm preparing some vocal performances for that experience. It is a little nerve wracking - Gino was my idol when I was growing up.

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You can get phlegm because the folds need relubrication. And by clearing it away the body Will only produce new phlegm, can be à vicious cycle

i didn't know that, that explains why i seem to get more phlegm during practice than during the day.

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