Recovery of Vocal Cords/Voice Box

Recovery of Vocal Cords/Voice Box

Smeshee1
Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 20:56

15 Jan 2005, 16:57 #1

Hello,

I was wondering if anyone among you could mention something about the recovery process of vocal cords/voice box after quitting smoking.

I am on day 14 of my quit (feeling strong and confident about it), however I seem to be waiting for the coughing to start (I have read the "every quit is different" article and learned a lot). This has been a problem with former quits, as once it started, the coughing really bothered my throat and voice.
I am a singer in a vocal ensemble.

This time there has been no coughing ,but my voice seems to be experiencing the same kind of reactions as if I were coughing! (Is this making any sense)? My voice is "breaking"...similar to the way adolescent boys sound when their voices start to change. This is happening during regular speech. While singing, it is worse and causing me to really go off key - quite embarrassing when it happened during practice yesterday. (I would like to share the fact that everyone in the ensemble is absolutely thrilled that I have quit smoking).

Again, I do realize that every quit is different, and everyone's physiology is not like mine, but I was just wondering if any of you all are singers or public speakers and could let me know what to expect time wise with these manifestations. I don't like them, but am willing to acknowledge that (hopefully) they are signs of my healing and will pass. Can anyone comment?

Thanks!

Sue in Israel
Reply

debz (gold )
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 01:42

15 Jan 2005, 20:54 #2

Hi Sue!

It's now just over three years since I quit, and like you, I experienced quite a bit of vocal disruption in the beginning. Highly annoying and embarrassing it was too. How glad I am that I persevered.

Although I hadn't sung professionally for a few years before quitting, I've always had the habit of singing day-to-day (in the car, at home with the stereo on, in the shower.... it's just part of who I am and what I do). So I was very surprised in the early stages of my quit to find that my voice had gotten *worse* instead of better.

I'm not entirely sure why, although I suspect it has something to do with the ingredients in cigarettes that may mask the effects of the poisons while you're smoking. I've read somewhere that tobacco companies actually even put bronchodilators in cigarettes! Another devious tactic to fool you into thinking that you're fine.

Well, around the 4 month mark after I quit, my voice started to improve again, and I can now hit notes that I hadn't been able to reach since I was in my early twenties (I will be 40 this year).

I think smoking is the single worst thing you can do to vocal chords, and general health.

You do get to a stage in your quit (you'll often hear that stage referred to here as "comfort", and it really is) when you realise that smoking was never, ever, ever worth the real price paid - your health. And it's so great to be back in control, after feeling enslaved by addiction for so many years!

Keep it up Sue, you're doing great and we are all cheering you on (and we don't get as hoarse as we used to) ! !

Debz in NZ

ImageImageImage
Reply

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

15 Jan 2005, 21:19 #3

From the string Cilia

Not everyone coughs more immediately and some people may never develop the cough that is often characteristic after quitting. But the cilia is regenerating and is going to be cleaning out your lungs, it just may be doing it at a pace which isn't overloading your airways and thus the mucous is quietly being swept out. Although some people will still develop the cough a few weeks into their quit as opposed to a few days as is experienced by many.
Reply

Smeshee1
Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 20:56

16 Jan 2005, 14:45 #4

Debz and Joel,

Thanks for your comments. (you sound just like me, singing everywhere and anywhere). I will look forward to my singing voice returning to it's
natural state (a state I haven't heard for many years)....that was another one of the reasons I wanted/needed to quit smoking (I heard my voice on a recording and didn't even recognize myself, it had changed that much).

All the best,

Sue in Israel

15 days free and healing!
Reply

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

16 Jan 2005, 21:33 #5


The effects of cigarette smoking
on voice-fundamental frequency
Otolaryngology Head Neck Surgery 1987 October;97(4):376-80.
Reply

Chipits GOLD.ffn
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

07 May 2008, 02:55 #6

Image for April
Reply