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Voice Resource Articles

Voice Pain and Muscle Tension Dysphonia

muscular-tension-dysphonia

Often after having a cold or upper respiratory infection, the vocal cords can become swollen, commonly known as laryngitis. When this happens, the muscles around the larynx (paralaryngeal muscles) and neck muscles engage when you vocalize. These muscles are not typically used for voice production, but to compensate for laryngitis, they begin to participate in voice support.

Dr. Reena Gupta, Los Angeles Laryngologist, discusses how throat pain following a recent illness can be associated with muscle tension dysphonia (MTD).

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Adele says “Hello” after Vocal Surgery

voice-therapy-los-angeles

Adele released “Hello” to universally rave reviews, which were understandable given the beauty and vocal quality demonstrated on the track. Many in the voice world listened carefully, as well, to determine if she was truly back or if her vocal surgery had negatively affected her. Those who were looking for something negative to say were surely disappointed. “Hello” definitively proved that vocal surgery can be undertaken successfully, and that the artist can return with an even better sound.

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Meghan Trainor: Hemorrhages and the Professional Singer

meghan-trainor-voice

Meghan Trainor, talented songwriter and singer, has had to stop performing and cancel the remainder of her tour due to a second vocal hemorrhage. Singers, vocal coaches, and fans have been scratching their heads over this injury, as hemorrhages have not been discussed much in the vocal community. Nodules, thick vocal fold callouses, are the most feared diagnoses among singers. What they have not yet been taught is that the hemorrhage is the original insult and should be the real focus of our attention.

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Image Credit: Meghan Trainor – By Ronald Woan from Redmond, WA, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Voice Case of the Week: “Pushing Through” and “Working Around” Hoarseness

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The patient is a 40-year-old female who noted voice changes after choking. She was drinking water the night before and noted it went down the wrong pipe. She only coughed for 1-2 minutes but had a sore throat afterwards and felt her voice was different. She has a large stadium engagement tomorrow and so she called her regular ENT who prescribed her steroids over the phone. However, she was concerned because of how important the performance was and so she sought a second opinion to have her vocal folds examined.

Click here for Los Angeles, laryngologist, Dr. Reena Gupta, MD’s diagnosis.

Allergies and the Voice

allergic-laryngitis

Most people associate allergies with the classic symptoms seen on commercials: itchy, watery eyes; runny nose; and sneezing. However, far more often, allergies present subtly, and in a way that is quite sinister when it comes to voice: postnasal drip.

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Voice Case of the Week: Side Effects of Medications

Osborne Head and Neck Institute Case Presentation:

voice-effects-medication

The patient is an 82 year old male who presented with complaints of loss of voice. He had noted initial symptoms 7 months ago and had noted a gradual decline since that time. He had a self-reported normal voice prior to this. He went to an ENT who noted that he was simply elderly and that this was the cause of his voice symptoms. Unsatisfied with this, he sought a second opinion. The second ENT noted that he had some inflammation after performing flexible fiberoptic laryngoscopy. This doctor suggested a steroid injection into the vocal fold. The patient agreed and had this done as an office-based procedure. He noted significant discomfort from the procedure and no improvement. He presented here for a third opinion.

Click here for Los Angeles, laryngologist, Dr. Reena Gupta, MD’s diagnosis.

Voice Case of the Week: The Effects of Alcohol on the Voice

Osborne Head and Neck Institute Case Presentation:

how alcohol affects the voice

The patient is a 26 year old male who presented with a 3 week history of hoarseness. He denied any other symptoms, including throat pain, postnasal drip, or throat clearing. He also denied feeling unwell. He noted no precipitating events around the time of onset. He is a professional singer and was particularly concerned because he had a gig coming up in 1 week and was unsure of how he would do.

Click here for Los Angeles, laryngologist, Dr. Reena Gupta, MD’s diagnosis.

Voice Case of the Week: Sometimes it is Reflux

Osborne Head and Neck Institute Case Presentation:

reflux-in-singers

The patient is a 34 year old male opera singer who presented with decreased vocal range, throat clearing, and pitch breaks during sustained phonation. He has noted changes over the past 3 months and has sought consultation from numerous physicians. He has been told that he has allergies by one doctor, and was placed on allergy medications, nasal sprays, and a nasal rinse. He has not noted any improvement with this treatment plan. The patient was also told that he had reflux and placed on a 2 week medication trial without any benefit. He has no other medical problems.

Click here for Los Angeles, laryngologist, Dr. Reena Gupta, MD’s diagnosis.

Voice Case of the Week: Larynx Injury from Inhalation

Osborne Head and Neck Institute Case Presentation:

larynx-treatment

The patient is 32 year old female who has noted gradual worsening of her voice over the past year and a half. She is not a voice student and is unsure if technique is contributing to her problem. She has noted a significant increase in sinus symptoms, including postnasal drip, and has had frequent illnesses requiring antibiotic treatment. When she does not take her antibiotics after symptom onset, she feels sicker and the illness eventually progresses to her chest. The patient has not noted any changes to her lifestyle or diet but did move to a new home in a different city one year ago. She had sinus surgery in the past year to address these infections and has also experienced allergy and asthma flare-ups.

Click here for Los Angeles, laryngologist, Dr. Reena Gupta, MD’s diagnosis.