Lately, more and more voice problems sufferers are coming to me with the most, seem to be, common diagnosis; Such as acid reflux negatively affecting vocal cords, and also (by osmosis) affecting voice performance, which, in turn, often leads to muscle tension dysphonia disorder.
Are there, perhaps, any other voice/vocal problems that people also experience?
Of course, there are!
The rest of them, however, are much more pronounced; such as nodes, nodules, polyps, lesions, cysts, etc.
However, what appears to be interesting is that the person, let’s say with the hoarse/raspy voice, and not diagnosed with any growth on their vocal cords, is immediately labelled with one or the other diagnosis; either gastric acid reflux which is burning the sufferer’s vocal cords or muscle tension dysphonia, which affects primarily the quality of the voice (hoarse, raspy, breathy) while in the process, it gets locked into the neck muscles, nonetheless, constricting one's voice production. With that said, it seems (given the above), that conventional doctors are implementing the method of elimination.
In other words, if there is nothing obvious those doctors could detect, they offer the generic and most common diagnosis, such as those described above.
How pathetic is that?
A lot of my clients with voice repair problems came with the diagnosis of acid reflux while still obeying the doctor’s orders; they took all kinds of anti-acids, changed their diets, but did not, unfortunately, in the real sense, accomplished any real results. Those sufferers' voices remained to be still hoarse and raspy and, nevertheless, they still had no clue how to properly speak or sing.
Yes, in some cases, the sufferers' voices could have been affected by acid reflux, but, although, it was not the main cause of their voice problem. It was just a side effect, as, evidently, their voice was drawn in a very low throat position via wrong application of speaking and/or singing voice, while applying enormous pressure to their vocal box.
Once the voice is sitting low in its position (sounding very throaty and heavy), it will, no doubt, meet the gastric acid and, thus, the vocal cords may get severely burned.
Given the above, it's evident, that the approach to any vocal problems/issues has to be completely holistic.
I was speaking today with a US client who had been diagnosed with Reinke's Edema (smoker’s disease). She was offered a vocal operation instead of the recommendation of stopping smoking, cleansing her body completely from the toxins, building the strength of her vocal anatomy and learning how to speak properly without putting enormous pressure onto her vocal cords and larynx.
Even if she agreed to undergo the vocal surgery, without the changes described above, it would be completely obsolete, as all of her symptoms will, no doubt, come back in full force in a short period of time.
There is no change without change whereas vocal surgery in that equation is definitely not a solution. However, in some cases, surgical interference is a must, but my recommendation would be to try everything possible and impossible (so to speak), Non-Surgically first!
After all, what do you have to lose? If nothing else, you will have knowledge and understanding to gain and, in the end, you will come to the right decision which will be more feasible, suitable and, most importantly, comfortable for you!
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