Hey everyone, my name is Adam Mishan, I'm a singer, songwriter and vocal coach.
This article is going to cover vocal damage and how to fix it. Just to give you a quick introduction about myself and vocal damage, I myself have had a long string of vocal issues stemming from mostly acid reflux and reflux laryngitis.
Reflux laryngitis is where when you go to sleep at night you have acid coming up your throat and burning your vocal cords throughout the night and then when you wake up you've got a really hoarse voice.
For me, it has resulted in a number of different vocal issues one being a vocal polyp that I had a little while ago and something called a sulcus on my vocal cord.
Because I've had experience with all of these things I've learned a thing or two about voice therapy and how to fix some of these issues that you might be having working through vocal damage.
There are a number of different types of vocal damage. You can have vocal cord nodules, polyps, hemorrhages and sulci. You can have inflammation as a result of laryngitis, inflammation as a result of acid reflux etc...
Because as vocalists our instrument is within us it's very important to make sure that we take care of our bodies.
If right now you're experiencing some vocal damage issues, what are some things that you can do to try to help the situation?
WAIT! before you read anything further, my number one recommendation is to go see an ear nose and throat doctor (ENT) who can scope your vocal cords and try to find out what the issue is.
Not only do I suggest to go to an ENT, I specifically suggest you try to get a video stroboscopy done.
After this first step, there are many different vocal exercises that you can do on a regular basis in order to help your voice along and begin voice therapy by yourself to work through your vocal damage.
The exercises that are most effective for these types of issues are ones that are called semi-occluded vocal exercises.
Occlusion just means that there's something blocking the air from escaping your mouth in addition to your vocal cords.
Normally, when we're singing "ah" the only thing that blocks the air from coming out of our mouths is our vocal cords.
However, with semi occluded vocal exercises, we introduce a secondary vibratory mechanism which actually creates a beneficial back pressure for the vocal cords.
Some examples are exercises like lip rolls or Tongue trills or puffy cheeks or straw exercises...etc. All of these exercises are really great semi occluded exercises to help with any voice issues.
You will find demonstrations of all of these exercises in the video below.