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#1 2012-10-21 19:37:10

Adoney
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Registered: 2012-07-19
Posts: 523
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Mucous/phlegm ?

I seem to have a really big problem with mucous and phlegm, that gets worse the more I sing. There seems to be mucous in both my nose, throat, and lungs. How do you get rid of this without meds? I heard that lemon/honey works, but probably not. I avoid dairy and whatnot, doesn't seem to do much though.

Thanks for all replies

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2012-10-21 19:37:10

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#2 2012-10-21 19:49:23

Owen Korzec
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Registered: 2011-09-18
Posts: 3109
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Re: Mucous/phlegm ?

If you're currently a smoker, step one is to quit. Or maybe it's just allergies. Other than that I don't know.

According to wikipedia it is a myth that diary increases mucus production. I'm don't trust their claim fully but if it is true then that explains why it isn't helping you.

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#3 2012-10-21 20:04:04

Adoney
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Re: Mucous/phlegm ?

Perhaps it is a myth! I do not smoke, but I DO have allergies. But my allergies are year-round and I don't think they can be eliminated. I have taken allergy meds before, anti-histamines (check spelling). They do very little other than make me tired.

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#4 2012-10-21 22:36:16

ronws
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Registered: 2010-05-23
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Re: Mucous/phlegm ?

I live in Texas, aka allergy central. I live with it. Clear my throat and cough when necessary. Though, when possible, I follow the advice of Jaime Vendera and swallow, when that does work.

Also, before recording or going through a set list, I will blow my nose to ensure that I am not loaded up from the top down from the mucus factory, as it were.

Also, I find, sometimes singing loosens up more mucus. I live with it. Nothing is going to stop me from singing, except for that really long dirt nap at the end of it all (death.)


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#5 2012-10-25 00:49:05

VIDEOHERE
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Registered: 2008-12-22
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Re: Mucous/phlegm ?

phlegm is a very common issue with a lot of singers. there are so many possibilities...i'm still searching for relief.

possible reasons:

allergies
poor speaking habits
too much throat involvement in voice and phonation (voice too low in the vocal tract)
diet
not drinking enough water
respiratory issues
getting older
laryngeal reflux
gerd

believe me, it really stinks!!!

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#6 2012-10-25 01:04:24

Tommy
Guest

Re: Mucous/phlegm ?

I have been suffering with this myself as of late. Passed year or two? It started awhile back and has progressed to the point where it has been affecting my singing for the past two months steadily. Ron says nothing will stop him from singing and I agree... sort of. :)   I try my best and I "try" not to let anything stop me but sometimes (like lately)it's not a choice. I would like to sing but I can't. Nothing comes out. Just a gurgley phlegmy sound.  My phlegm/mucus has stopped me cold. Not by making it difficult but by making it impossible. Right now I have good days and bad. I am forced to wait until the season changes in hopes that will help. On bad days I can't muddle through it. It just isn't working at all.  On those days there is no voice as it is overcome by phlegm and it can't be swallowed or spit out. Right now, even on good days , while in the shower trying to get rid of the crap, there is stuff in my nose as thick as glue. Kind of like snot worms.   New name?  :D

 

#7 2012-10-25 19:25:20

VIDEOHERE
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Registered: 2008-12-22
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Re: Mucous/phlegm ?

i totally relate...it creates a fear to sing.....for fear the phlegm will pop up and divert the notes.

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#8 2012-10-25 19:52:27

Tommy
Guest

Re: Mucous/phlegm ?

I've also been getting a dull ear ache. it is more like a pain deep inside the ear canals rather than close to the surface.  It reaches to my eye and head on the side of the ear that hurts .  Whatever it is it is all up in there!  It even muffles my hearing when singing.   I was getting concerned that I flooded my passageways with that Nielmed rinsing :D    And it doesn't affect the same note or pitch all the time. It moves around.

 

#9 2012-10-25 23:39:52

VIDEOHERE
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Registered: 2008-12-22
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Re: Mucous/phlegm ?

hymm, got me one that one buddy.

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#10 2012-10-30 12:50:30

Iridal
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Registered: 2011-11-01
Posts: 34
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Re: Mucous/phlegm ?

I also had a ton of problems with mucus.  I didn't always have them, but they popped up in the last 2 years or so.  I was able to narrow it down to a few things, with the help of an ENT.

1.  Poor speaking habits.  Its funny how much you don't notice this hurts you until you start singing!  The good news is that as I kept training with an instructor my speaking voice has improved.  Seems I need to speak a little bit higher... guess us military girls get a little too chesty in our voices if left unchecked.  ;)

2.  Acid reflux or GERD, whatever.  My ENT scoped my throat and put me on Nexium and I've felt pretty darn good since!  Its really been a lifesaver.

Tommy, I also had a dull stuffiness in one of my ears, consistently.... doc saw nothing wrong with it, so its very likely I just have one tube that is more narrow than the other and gets easily irritated.  Getting on the Nexium and better speaking habits helped a ton.  Seems that when everything else was allowed to heal, the pressure in my ear was able to pass too.

My sympathies to everyone with allergies!  I started on Claratin with no results, and a RAST came back negative, so I guess I'm clear.

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#11 2012-10-31 07:22:31

Adoney
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Registered: 2012-07-19
Posts: 523
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Re: Mucous/phlegm ?

Ah! acid reflux has been becoming a huge problem for me! not just with singing, but every-day. I will have to check out some options for it. Possibly just some anti-acids or something.

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#12 2012-10-31 12:30:52

Iridal
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Registered: 2011-11-01
Posts: 34
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Re: Mucous/phlegm ?

Yeah I didn't even really stop and think about acid reflux until the ENT took a look and mentioned how red and irritated everything looked.  I thought everyone burped up bile as frequently as I did, but apparently I was wrong hahahaha.  I guess its because I never experienced any actual heartburn, so I never thought to ask about it. 

I never tried Tums or anything, I went straight to the Nexium.  Its probably worthwhile to see an ENT to find out if thats what you need, otherwise you might just end up with a short lived placebo effect.  At least after having the scope I had a diagnosis instead of a hypothesis.  It took about a week for me to notice a change, but that makes sense, gotta let things heal up a bit.  ;)

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#13 2012-10-31 15:41:25

VIDEOHERE
Administrator
Registered: 2008-12-22
Posts: 7197
Reputation :   66 

Re: Mucous/phlegm ?

if it's reflux, tums isn't going to cut it. you need a medication that shuts off the acid pumps in the stomach, a class of medication called proton pump inhibitors.

the cheapest, most effective generic is omeprazole. but get the doctor to check you out first. you don't want to take it unless it's mandatory.

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#14 2012-10-31 17:01:25

WebAndNet.com
TMV Forum Member
From: Houston
Registered: 2008-11-24
Posts: 402
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Re: Mucous/phlegm ?

Lord_Adon,

This doesn’t sound like the major contributor is allergies, as allergies generally produce a liquidy drainage, not heavy phlegm or mucus.   Allergies also produces sneezing and red eyes, so to self-diagnose it, look for other symptoms.

This does sound like acid reflux and/or improper technique that blows too much air into the nasal cavity.

To diagnose acid reflux, try any Over The Counter proton pump inhibitors, such as zegerid or nexium for 4 weeks (preferably at double dosage–which is what doctors prescribe–and I recommend you ask a physician first) and see if your symptoms vastly improve.

To treat acid reflux, first incline your bed 6 inches at top; then even higher, if you can tolerate it.   This will stop nighttime acid reflux.

Acid reflux doesn’t reach your nasal cavity, unless– 1. stomach liquid can reach up to nasal cavity (which is unlikely, if you’re standing)    2. huge amounts of acidic fumes reach the nasal cavity (which is possible with improper singing technique and/or bad posture).

Whether you have huge amounts of acid reflux fumes or not, if a singer uses improper singing technique such that air is blown into nasal cavity regularly, symptoms such as you describe will result.

Possible methods to treat:   1. resolve singing technique   2. fix posture   3. incline bed, if acid reflux.


Chen Sun
www.WebAndNet.com, Strategic Web Marketing
www.VocalPosture.com, currently a blog, has unique singing-related content-- posture and voice, vocal structure, ergonomics, Zen and ancient philosophies' relevance to voice.   http://Chen.WebBIZcard.com, a prototype webpage of an invention, is ready for implementation.   This is ideal for any entprepreneur wanting to create a vocalists' or musicians directory.  Thanks

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#15 2012-10-31 19:09:54

VIDEOHERE
Administrator
Registered: 2008-12-22
Posts: 7197
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Re: Mucous/phlegm ?

acid comes up (refluxes) from the stomach into the esophagus from a improperly functioning lower esophageal sphincter valve. it's important to know acid can make it's way up to the vocal folds without symptoms of heartburn.

i have never heard of reflux fumes or the acid traveling up the nasal cavity due to improper singing. where did you get that information?

nexium is a prescription drug.

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#16 2012-10-31 23:58:19

WebAndNet.com
TMV Forum Member
From: Houston
Registered: 2008-11-24
Posts: 402
Reputation :   
Website

Re: Mucous/phlegm ?

Gravity takes its toll on uptraveling acid reflux.   If one's posture is upright and regurgitates, it is possible that acid reflux can make it up to the vocal folds.   When such though, the symptom is frequently, but not necessarily pain, but an acidic taste or smell.

But, unless one is lying down, it is very difficult for acid reflux to travel up to the nasal cavity.  Hence, excessive nasal mucus possibly from acid reflux while singing can only be from fumes.

As for how I know... I worked closely with a group of world renown gastroenterologists in the Texas Medical Center, and when I had a similar question as Lord Adon, I asked one; while explaining that my mucus occurred during singing.   He explained-- blowing air into the nasal cavity, a common singers' issue he's seen.

And it makes sense.... if one is sending excessive air into the nasal cavity, the pH, chemicals conditions, and moisture would be different from what the nasal cavity normally handles, so the nasal cavity reacts with a protective fluid--mucus.   

Incidentally, the mouth also reacts to acidic changes by producing more saliva, so one symptom of acid reflux is a lot of saliva.   Singers want to send sound waves, not necessarily more air, into the nasal cavity.  One can swallow a lot of air and send excess gastric gas to nasal cavity.

You're right nexium is currently not an OTC http://www.news-medical.net/news/201208 … EXIUM.aspx .   In general though, the active ingredient in most Proton Pump Inhibitors is omeprozale, so most OTC PPIs will act similarly.

It is when one is lying down or bent over that acid reflux can often cause the most damage--because acidic gastric juices travel in large quantities immediately up the esophagus.  The esophageal lining gradually erode, and that's when pain is felt.   So, one of the better remedies for acid reflux is an incline bed and a second is don't bend one's upper chest more than 90 degrees.

Lastly, as someone who has had and have acid reflux, I suggest one looks at this from the point of view of the entire esophageal and nasal-pharynx muscular lining, instead of vocal cords.    When the tissues surrounding the vocal cords are weakened, the entire voice sounds vastly different.   We should be talking about the vocal apparatus instead of vocal cords.

Last edited by WebAndNet.com (2012-11-01 00:06:52)


Chen Sun
www.WebAndNet.com, Strategic Web Marketing
www.VocalPosture.com, currently a blog, has unique singing-related content-- posture and voice, vocal structure, ergonomics, Zen and ancient philosophies' relevance to voice.   http://Chen.WebBIZcard.com, a prototype webpage of an invention, is ready for implementation.   This is ideal for any entprepreneur wanting to create a vocalists' or musicians directory.  Thanks

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#17 2012-11-01 20:37:06

VIDEOHERE
Administrator
Registered: 2008-12-22
Posts: 7197
Reputation :   66 

Re: Mucous/phlegm ?

okay, but if you are taking a ppi you aren't going to get the acid because the drug shuts off the acid pumps.

if you experience acid despite taking a ppi, you need to see an e.n.t.

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