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Bkelly117
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This is my first post on this forum. I hope some members here are knowledgable, cuz a lot of forums out there there is a lot of people bullshittin, or talking about stuff they don't really know about being that they're anonymous over the Internet. So hopefully some people know their stuff here!

Ok, so I'm 19 years old, I've had a lot of vocal trouble, basically since I started singing, around 14. Here are some of the symptoms I'm experiencing:

Basically my throat always feels, ah not 100%. Most of the time I sing there is some mild discomfort and it feels like my cords or weak or the tissue in my throat is weak. It effects my tone, making it much thinner and smaller. It affects my lower range before my higher range, usually. I vocal fatigue VERY quickly. Sometimes after just 15 - 20 minutes it gets very scratchy, breaks, or just gets smaller and weaker. There is usually some mild irritation in my throat, down through my chest. It feels a bit like dryness, but its not, because my doctor said there's no dehydration, and I drink a lot of water. It makes it very very difficult to practice and get better and almost impossible to sing a set or anything like that because if I don't vocal fatigue, usually I'm at a loss for control and have diminished tone sometimes even as I start singing. It sucks. Some rare times, my voice feels better, stronger, the tone is much bigger and richer, but this is few and far between. I used to have much better tone when I woke up in the morning, and it would gradually get worse as I smoked throughout the day. Now though even in the morning it doesn't feel well. I used to smoke cigarettes and a lot of weed, but I haven't smoked cigarettes in almost a year and weed in almost two. I don't drink alcohol. Also, if this little bit of information is useful at all, when I used to sniff heroin (sorry if that's a random thing to write here, I've been a recovering addict for about 2 years now), my voice would feel a lot better, because the post nasal drip from it would for some reason soothe my voice, and I could better and for longer. And no I wasn't just delusionally high ;)

My ENT said this: 1. I have some acid reflux because of the sensation all the way going down to my chest. He also said there was some small inflammation on my cords. (I think this is my main issue, because the irritation going all the way down to my chest feels like its what is screwing me up. It manifest often as a slight burning in my throat. Also this sensation at least in my chest is present pretty much 24/7)

2. I have a good amount of post nasal drip and nasal congestion. I'm on nasonex for this, it's supposed to start working soon.

3. My left vocal cord is weaker than my right.

Between my ENT and a vocal therapist I saw, they said there's nothing serious wrong with my vocal cords at all, which is good. Neither of them seemed to have much knowledge of what was going on with me, because they didn't know what exactly was wrong at first. My ENT thinks a combination of these things is causing my problems.

So I'm starting vocal therapy next week for my left vocal cord function primarily, I'll see what they say there.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Most people seem completely confused when I tell them this, as if I'm making it up. My technique isn't the best, but i don't think (nor does my vocal coach or previous therapist) it's enough to really damage my voice. I think it has to do with acid reflux, primarily, but I could be wrong, that's just what it feels like, considering the possibilities my ENT gave me.

So any advice, experience, blah blah blah would be welcome. I will not take acid neutralizing or blocking drugs for acid reflux, but I will start on HCl/pepsin supplements (which contrary to acid suppressing drugs have been shown to reduce or eliminate reflux). Also I'm interested in any natural vitamins or supplements that may help tissue repair in the voice, or anything like that. All replies are appreciated, thanks!

(P.S., I just spent 5 weeks in Asia on a meditation retreat. I didn't speak but a few words a day and didn't sing at all. My voice got plenty of rest. It didn't make the slightest difference.)

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Well, I am not an expert in anything and I am certainly not a doctor and you already have two doctors and should really listen to them.

As far as people here suffering from acid reflux, I know our admin, Videohere (we like to call him Bob, because that's his name) has suffered from acid reflux and also successfully rehabilitated from having a polyp on one fold.

As for having a dystrophy or impediment in one vocal fold, I would not about that. But I do know that our resident vocal health expert is Joanna Cazden. So, you might look her up. She is a member her. Just find one of her posts.

Same with Bob. He's admin, he's all over the place. He also has a skype set up.

Another person who deals with the challenges of singing while having to take various (necessary) medications is moderator Adolph Namlik. The man is a blessing and a gem of a guy. As is local singing expert Steven Fraser. So, while I cannot personally help you, I hope I can point you in the right direction, at least for having a support group.

And yes, your lack of vocal technique can cause damage. Just look at Evan Seinfeld of Biohazard. Wrong technique caused permanent damage to his vocal folds. He is still a great songwriter but he has to get someone else to sing the songs.

I remember seeing him on the reality show, "Supergroup." He wrote the original song the band was supposed to come up with.

So, the people I have mentioned might also be able to suggest ENT's who specialize in singers. And what kind of vocal training program you can use to rehab and save your voice.

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Raise the head of your bed at least 6 inches, (higher if you tolerate it) by placing books underneath the bedframe, and see what happens in two weeks. Do not use pillows at all, if possible. Acid reflux's damage (particularly to the vocal tract) is greatest at night, when one's body is horizontal, and the acid easily creeps up to the esophagus.

Proton inhibitors are relatively safe. I know of nothing that can eliminate acid reflux for all people; certainly some items will work on some people.

Can also change diet to reduce acid reflux.

Also, change one's posture-- acid can't creep upwards if your esophagus is pulled further from the stomach. One good way is to use a stand desk.

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