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need help with possible spasm problem

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I am 60 years old, and have been singing semiprofessionally in bands for 40 years. Over the past 2 years, a strange thing has happened on occasion. I will get up to sing, and though my voice seemed normal enough during that day, I almost completely lose my singing voice within a few minutes. I am almost literally croaking when I sing. It feels like a spasm in the sense that my voice will return within an hour or 2. This has only happened at night, and I can't relate to any particular thing like strain, or foods or drink that day. My voice is otherwise in fine shape and shows no signs of weakness. I had an ENT exam last week which was normal. That ENT sent me to another, to have a strobe exam: also normal. Neither ENT had an explanation for this. They thought maybe anxiety, but the situations in which it happened were not particularly anxiety laden. Any ideas? Thanks!

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Hi from your friendly speech-pathologist-for-singers:

If there were a true spasmodic condition, the ENTs would have seen it.

When I hear this kind of description, it often goes with a feeling of dryness in the throat that is NOT relieved by drinking more water. If you've started taking a medication (for some other condition) that brings dry-mouth as a side-effect, the same effect can make the vocal folds creaky and less reliable.

Try adding humidity to your environment (vaporizer or humidifier, or even potted plants); see if you sing better in the shower (Steamy!); and try some of the Biotene line of mouthwash etc products, which help throat "hold on to moisture." For instance, gargle with it right before you sing & see if perhaps voice lasts longer. Mucinex might also be helpful, as it adds lubrication to the throat, but you need to drink extra water while you're taking it. These products are non-prescription and quite safe.

Hope this helps --


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