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remedies for lost voice? Thumbwitch, are you around? anyone else?

(16 Posts)
nightcat Thu 13-Jan-11 11:32:42

My ds (teen) is prone to loss of voice, just wondered if anyone can link this to some kind of deficiency or knows of home remedies to help prevent or restore the voice.

This happens usually in winter months, he doesn't get a cold with it, just can't get the sound out of his throat. Once or twice it happened the day after he went swimming, but not always. He would get this 2-3 times in winter months on and off (has been going on like that for at least 3 winters now).

MmeLindt Thu 13-Jan-11 11:35:24

This used to happen to a friend of mine. She would whisper - which is apparently the worst thing you can do when you lose your voice. After several years of this she had to maintain complete silence for months to give her voicebox time to recover.

So I would say, when he loses his voice he should not try to talk.

Hope someone else comes along with more info.

PacificDogwood Thu 13-Jan-11 11:37:46

Ask for a referral to ENT/speechtherapy.

I am not a specialist, but hoarse/lost voice is to do with the vocal chords being swollen and hence not being able to swing freely or at all.

Minor viral illness often cause this.

Another cause can be the voice being 'forced' - so common problem for people who project their voice incorrectly (lecturers, singers, public speakers of any kind).

I am not aware that swimming has anything to do with it.

Speechtherapy will assess him and then show him exercises re breathing/voice control to avoid this happening.
ENT are sometimes required to refer to speechtherapy, in some areas GPs can refer directly to SALT (speech and language therapy). ENT can also assess the vocal chords/voice box to make sure there is no structural reason for the voice problem.

nightcat Thu 13-Jan-11 11:49:10

Oh, thank you, I will ask him to see speech and lang people at school as a start.
Viral is a possibility with all tghe bugs around, hope the throat stopped them getting further.
MmeL, that's very interesting, he himself feels that he doesn't want to try and talk, so it must be a natural "reflex" for him, I didn't know that and said, try whispering blush

MmeLindt Thu 13-Jan-11 11:52:48

My friend works as a teacher and I think that her problem was to do with the way she was speaking, as you say "forced".

She now speaks in a deeper tone, but had to retrain her voice.

thumbwitch Thu 13-Jan-11 11:54:11

hello, I am here - but I don't think I can offer anything useful apart from he needs to see someone - so you'll need to go to the GP and get them to refer him to the ENT for a check over.

Stress can cause voice loss, as well as pharyngitis/laryngitis - but pharyngitis/laryngitis usually hurts, so you can tell what's going on. Stress is more difficult.

Is your DS naturally shy? Does he have troubles expressing himself and asking for what he wants? If so, it could be a psychosomatic extension of that - but if not, then more likely to be something physical.

Is his voice, when it is around, hoarse at all? He might have nodules on his vocal chords. But he needs to have it looked at to say for sure.

nightcat Thu 13-Jan-11 12:06:57

both possibilities could apply
Recently re-joined choir so using voice more - I in fact had thought it would be good for him to improve speech muscles etc as he does have some floppy facial muscles and possibly others too.
And yes, he does find it hard to express himself mostly due to past physical factors/neuro problems, so stress could be a factor although he hasn't been stressed much in recent weeks - except for going back to school after Christmas break.
How on earth could we improve all this?
I always find that a minor symptom could be linked to quite a lot more

nightcat Thu 13-Jan-11 12:08:28

didn't answer last question, his voice is not normally hoarse

PacificDogwood Thu 13-Jan-11 12:10:06


They are magicians grinwink.

<<disclaimer: I am not one, but my DS2 has benefitted from their Knowledge of the Dark Arts of Voice production/Swallowing>>

nightcat Thu 13-Jan-11 12:15:03

Pacific, that's quite impressive to hear
He is seen by a speech and lang therapist at school weekly, although not sure whether this was on the agenda before.
Do you think I need to aim higher? Do you think the school can make a referral - if so is it ENT or is there another non-school Sp&Lang part of ENT we need?
Thing is if he gets better in a few weeks/days, then there will be no proof that there was anything wrong and they will say, oh it was a virus.

thumbwitch Thu 13-Jan-11 12:20:22

read this page on laryngitis - he might have scarred his vocal cords at some point.

Does he drink lots of water? they need to be hydrated fully as well.

IF you think there is more of a psychosomatic cause, or if the ENT find nothing, you could try the Bach Flower remedy, Mimulus - but try and get him seen by the ENT people.

PacificDogwood Thu 13-Jan-11 12:21:08

Sorry, I have no idea whether the school can refer further.
If he is already seeing SALT maybe bring the voice thing up? And also get a referral to ENT IMO.
If it is a recurring problem, even if it gets better at times, he should still be assessed even if he is ok at the time.

nightcat Thu 13-Jan-11 12:29:10

really appreciate your help, that link is brilliant, I have printed it to keep, thank you,
you are all very knowledgeable, will get a referral and will try mimulus in the meantime too

BoffinMum Thu 13-Jan-11 21:55:44

A qualified singing teacher would also be able to help with some of the problems, encouraging proper voice production and developing better self-esteem, facial muscle use, etc. Just a thought.

nightcat Fri 14-Jan-11 11:08:38

thank you Boffin, will send him to the person who runs the choir for more expertise, makes sense to use the resources we have easy access to first

BoffinMum Fri 14-Jan-11 22:07:54

Choir leader may not be a trained singer - some of them don't have that level of training.

CAT me and I'll help you work out where the expertise might be readily available, if you like.

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