Q. I am a singer. I have sore throat and unable to sing or even speak normally. Please advice.

Answered by
Dr. Deepti Singh
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 19, 2017

Hello doctor,

I am a 21 year old male and I have been suffering from sore throat for 2 and a half months now. It all started in late December. I am a singer, and I came down with a very light cold. Due to the weather, I had a light sore throat. During this time, I had to sing and speak loudly with friends, as it was the holidays. While the other symptoms shortly subsided, my throat has been raw ever since and it has left me unable to sing or even speak normally

During my initial medical visit, I was given a week's worth of Amoxicillin, which had no effect. A month or so later, I decided to visit my ENT specialist. He conducted a nasal/sinus and throat exam and noted my deviated nasal septum and "turbinate hypertrophy" in my nose. As for my throat, he noted no signs of nodules but "mild erythema of interarytenoid mucosa around the larynx". Basically, he told me to try Prilosec and steroid sprays. Well, I am pretty young, very thin, and have no real history of reflux but I took the Prilosec (Omeprazole) for a few days, I noticed no effect except for constipation. When I stopped the Prilosec, the constipation went away. I then resumed it for an additional two days and the constipation returned, so I quit altogether. The steroid sprays and Claritin did indeed helped clear my nose somewhat, but it had no effect on my throat. Next, in frustration, I returned to my family doctor and this time asked him if a steroid might do the trick. He prescribed 2.5mg of Prednisolone to be taken twice daily for 5 days. It is coming up on day 4 now, and sadly, I cannot say I have noticed any change. I am kind of at a loss for what to do. My family doctor says I probably just irritated my throat, but 3 months in, I am desperate to resume singing and speaking normally. My voice is a quiet, weak thing now and it hurts to carry on conversation for longer than a minute or so. Lower pitches are the most comfortable for me to speak in, anything else and I feel air hitting the back of my throat and a sandpapery feeling that is very uncomfortable. I am really frustrated here. I am going to request a throat culture this week, but apart from that, I really do not know what to do.

Please help.

Dr. Deepti Singh

Otolaryngology (E.N.T)


Welcome to icliniq.com. I can understand your concern.

  • You are a singer and that signifies the history of voice abuse which might be the cause.
  • Due to voice abuse, vocal cords get fatigue and swollen which result in hoarseness of voice.
  • All you need is a voice rest.
  • Avoid talking as much as possible.
  • Start steam inhalation with menthol and disprin gargles.
  • Do not stress your vocal cords.
  • You can also attend voice training sessions once you are recovered from the present episode completely.

Consult an ENT otolaryngologist online for further follow up --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/ENT-Otolaryngologist

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Thank you for the quick response doctor.

Does the voice rest mean complete silence? Or am I allowed to speak somewhat? I have not tried singing for the past one month. Isn't that enough?

Dr. Deepti Singh

Otolaryngology (E.N.T)


Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • Sorry to say, by voice rest I mean complete silence only and that is what is required.
  • As you have said that you have tried not to sing, please continue it and follow the other instructions as well for 3 weeks.
  • If there is no response, then a video stroboscopy can be done to study the vocal movements and to check if there is any deviation from normal.

Revert back to an ENT otolaryngologist online after 3 weeks --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/ENT-Otolaryngologist

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