Advertise on ChoralNet 
ChoralNet logo
The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

vocal paresis and options

I am 57 and a choral educator and singer and have candida, a yeast intolerance.  Twenty years ago, I found I was allergic to mold after playing the organ in a musty old church. I cut yeast out my my diet and all seemed ok. I would experience over the years, laryngitis when in a moldy envornment and most recently, so sensitive that the voice will shut off ( due to mucous build up) within seconds. 
I developed paresis in 2011 after teaching in a damp classroom in an old elementary school. I caught it early and began therapy and was on the mend, so it seemed. 
It was not until recently that I corelated my highly intense mold allergy with this condition and when I was in mold infested enviroment, my raspy symptoms came back. 
After teaching for 2 years in a moldy classroom, my administration remediated my classroom however the paresis proceeded to worsen. After three ENT visits, I went to a voice specialist and she determined that the paresis has become permanent and will need to have an injection in the left cord to expand it to meet the other. Since I am beginning to cough and choke from time to time, this seems to be the best option so I do not suffer from aspiration in the lungs due to the folds not closing completely. 
Has anyone ever experienced this condition? The mold allergy, seems to have exaserbated my false vocal cord function and my new ENT tells me this injection can get me to teach again, yet may never get my voice back to performance level. 
Any thoughts?
on June 12, 2014 6:14am
So sorry you have had these  hardships!  Sounds like your research/procedures so far have been wise/reasonable.
As a singer-educator who has had similar struggles (though, thank goodness, not nearly as severe and debilitating as yours), I would recommend 2 things:
1. Get opinions from 2 other ENTS.  (A well-known professional tenor would have had his career curtailed, because one doctor out of three said, " Vocal rest, rather than surgery,.." could remedy his nodule.  The other two recommended surgery.)
2. Be sure to get lessons from a very experienced voice teacher who has good knowledge of vocal health.
Best Wishes!
Applauded by an audience of 2
on June 12, 2014 2:57pm
After the ENT option I strongly suggest you get the help and advice of a speech and language therapist who is a specialist in voice.  This sort of thing is what we do!
on June 15, 2014 4:38pm
sounds like a worker's comp issue, at least partially, since the work situation you were forced to work in made you sick and was not immediately remedied.  Just my thoughts at this time.  Good luck to you and God bless you!
Paul Townsend
National Board Teacher Certification candidate – EMC Music
Music and Drama K-8
Arcadia Neighborhood Learning Center (ANLC)
                  Starting August 2014
School phone: TBA
Cell phone: 602-318-3987
on June 16, 2014 8:23pm
There doesn't seem to be a fast & easy solution to your vocal chord dilemma.
I would suggest, as Lucy Hudson Stembridge suggests, to get at least a second, third (or even a fourth) opinion. When I read your post, I immediately thought of my own vocal issues. I seem to always be congested one way or another. I've noticed that my condition seems to become worse when sleeping under ceiling fans, open windows at night or being exposed to cold air conditioning. I always need to sleep under the covers to keep from exascerbating my condition. I am wondering, if through your mold exposure, that you may have found a few remedies for keeping mucus at bay. I would be interested to learn of anything to help improve this condition. I am always congested and nasal sounding in speech/singing.
I suspect that I am undergoing exposure to a few allergies as well.
At any rate, I do hope that you will find the best possible solution to solving your vocal chord issue.
  • You must log in or register to be able to reply to this message.