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The Nameless Untold

Singing and Illness

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Since the beginning of the year I have been struggling with illness. Nothing too serious mostly head colds, allergies, the flu and a case of shingles. It has given me fits when trying to sing and at times has taken my voice completely. But I think I may be starting to notice a bit of a pattern and I wonder if I may be trying to hard to soon. I am fairly new to singing so I don't know if there is something to this or if is just in my head. But as I have begun to feel like I am recovering and my congestion starts to allow me to sing again I have tried to start recording. The last couple times I have done this a couple days go by and I start feeling sick again. Mostly starting out as a sore throat and then moving on to body aches. I was sick again the weekend before last Yesterday and today I felt good enough to sing and actually got a couple of good takes in but after I finished today I felt that same soreness and quite a bit fatigued. I know you're probably going to tell me to see a doctor and I will, but I am wondering if you have experienced anything like this. Am I pushing myself to hard to soon and if so how do I know when to start after being sick?

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Regarding singing sick.  Hey there's a song title.  Singing sick or.............Sick Singing.   But, seriously,  Without knowing you I think this is a difficult question for anyone to answer. Have I ever had ailments that go away and then return.  No, but the one exception are allergy symptoms of course and this year is bad for me.  I am a runner and I have never gone outside to run and had to sneeze repeatedly during my hour jog, the way I did, once last week.  On top of that, my eyes were running and itching and I had just used an allergy spray as well as eye drops.  Wind was blowing strong that day, so it may just be allergy if you're allergic to pollen and other ingredients of mother nature.  Allergies make me feel groggy at times and fatigued but I still get up at 4:30am on the weekdays, twice a week to run, and on both Saturday and Sunday to run too after 8am of course.  Allergies haven't stopped me from doing things.  Do you take something for the allergies or fatigue? This too could affect you. I have no idea if you're pushing yourself too hard. Only you can answer that. Listen to your body and yes see a Doctor but when you see one, get a physical. A physical can certainly determine if there is something more to your symptoms that obviously have you worried or at the least, bothered. I don't see why anything psychological would affect your ability to sing but I don't know. Do you have worries or things on your mind? We all do. Would they make one sick? Depends I suppose.

 

Again, get a physical or take a stress test but in the end, listen to your body. If it says stop, then stop. If it says go, then go for it!

 

Good luck with the singing but perhaps a teaspoon of honey or two would soothe the throat.

 

Hope you feel better

 

 

 

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You may be on to something with the allergies. Mine have gotten worse over the years. Here I was thinking that it was just me pushing my voice to soon. but after reading your post I got to thinking that if this is all do to allergies what is so different this year from last year. It does seem to get worse when I spend time singing in my recording room. Then it hit me I hung sleeping bags that had been stored in my shed as sound blankets. I have always been allergic to molds and I never even considered that could be the source of my problem. They are being washed as I type. Hopefully this will fix the issue. Thanks for responding who knows how long it would have taking me to think it was just allergies and stumble upon the thought that the sleeping bags could be the problem.

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It sounds more serious than allergies which usually show their symptoms right away - if those old sleeping bags were the cause, you'd start feeling it soon after you got in there, not days after.

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Could be a whole host of different things, hope you manage to get it sorted out. Make sure you mention the fact you like singing but are having issues with it to your doctor. Sometimes being very specific can be helpful with diagnosis.

My brain goes straight to technique when you say it comes on worse after singing. Have you tried singing in front of a mirror? Maybe you are tensing your throat more than you think? Which could in turn make any ailments worse.

You also might just be over doing it? Going from no singing to lots of singing could do that. Try practising 20 mins each day rather than 2 hour sessions once a week.

Could also just be hay fever. A friend of mine always sounds like he hasn't slept when its summer time because of how the pollen affects him.

Also could be asthma or lack of physical fitness (not trying to pass judgement. I don't think I could be the singer of the band I'm in simply because I don't have the breath for it.)

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Well I am certainly not ruling out anything else but I am feeling much better since removing the sleeping bags. I still have some congestion, sneezing and itching eyes, but nothing that seems out of the norm for this time of year. The fatigue and body aches are gone and I don't feel like I have the flu coming on anymore. I will test it out this weekend.

 

As for technique I am sure I need work there. although I have been doing some research on technique and hopefully I am getting better at it. Also I have been trying to sing a song that has been testing my range so that is probably a contributing factor as well.

 

My overall fitness is good, my last check-up the doc told me to keep doing whatever it was I  was doing because it is working (mostly walking and trying to eat right). I will admit however that the walking has taken a hit over the last few moths because of how I have felt.

 

I do suffer from a mild case of asthma, I have most of my life. However the doctors have always been impressed with my lung capacity even during an attack. It has never been an issue with singing. Can I hold a note like Axl Rose? No, but I can push a whole lot of air out of my lungs and singing as low as I do I find I need it.

 

Anyway we'll see what happens this weekend and if it returns, off to the doctor I go.

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I have previously been damaged by air-borne moulds and fungoid stuff - nasty and mysterious - discovered that it is a huge area of relative ignorance. The generality of the problem seems to have accelerated with the popularity of insulation and having homes be draught-free and energy-efficient. That's nothing to do with your sleeping bags (where it looks like you have located the likely source of your problem) and more of a building-envelope issue - but clean fresh air should always be on the vocalist's priority list, I think.

 

For combatting congestion, I recommend humming.  Long notes.  As long as you can manage. Long notes is essential exercise anyway - and will for sure give you stuff to be productively self-critical about - but humming is something else. 

 

Replenish your lung-load afresh for each note.   Loooooong notes, remember - as long as you can manage - with mouth closed for humming, start as low as you can go and gradually climb semi-tones to reach as high as you can go.  Then slip into reverse and work back to the beginning.  The vibrations have beneficial effects.  Bone cavities in your head and face, like those all-important sinuses, are rattled and woken by an improving clear-out. Minimum half an hour. Daily. In the morning.  One of those sorts of exercise we can do while driving.

 

Singing is good for us asthmatics.

 

 

Doctors know nothing about singing per se - not unless they are specialists.

Good luck.

 

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1 hour ago, Lazz said:

For combatting congestion, I recommend humming.  Long notes.  As long as you can manage. Long notes is essential exercise anyway - and will for sure give you stuff to be productively self-critical about - but humming is something else. 

 

Replenish your lung-load afresh for each note.   Loooooong notes, remember - as long as you can manage - with mouth closed for humming, start as low as you can go and gradually climb semi-tones to reach as high as you can go.  Then slip into reverse and work back to the beginning.  The vibrations have beneficial effects.  Bone cavities in your head and face, like those all-important sinuses, are rattled and woken by an improving clear-out. Minimum half an hour. Daily. In the morning.  One of those sorts of exercise we can do while driving.

 

I had not seen this in my research on singers dealing with congestion. I will give it a try is sounds like good advice. I luckily do not have more than a ten minute commute to work, but I get up pretty early and have the house to myself most mornings, so I should be able to manage it.

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On 5/3/2017 at 01:47, The Nameless Untold said:

I know your probably going to tell me to see a doctor ....

 

Correct! 

 

Especially if you have been hoarse at all for more than 6 weeks. You are likely fine but it COULD be significant. Don't put it off.

 

Also, it's "you're" :P

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5 hours ago, Alistair S said:

 

Correct! 

 

Especially if you have been hoarse at all for more than 6 weeks. You are likely fine but it COULD be significant. Don't put it off.

 

Also, it's "you're" :P

You grammar Nazis. :D Typo corrected.

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1 hour ago, The Nameless Untold said:

You grammar Nazi's. 

.... but you don't need the apostrophe here.

 

Extra home-work for you, my boy.

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Well, if I had my way it'd all be slang. but I guess I have my own pet peeves.
 

BTW corrected that typo too, or two, or to ??? :unsure:

 

I blame it on not feeling well.

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20 minutes ago, The Nameless Untold said:

Well, if I had my way it'd all be slang.

 

Slang Nazi!!

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So, I have had a really productive weekend. Singing has gone well and I do not feel sick. In fact I have felt better every day since washing the sleeping bags. I have even gotten some projects around the house done that have been neglected due to the way I have been feeling. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that something was on those bags that my body really did not like.  Anyway, I will keep my guard up and if this seems to be returning I will get another check-up. Just thought y'all might want to know the outcome of my test this weekend.

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First thing to mention:

 

It could be a ton of things. Anything from Mononucleosis to Chronic Lyme Disease to bacterial infections to fungal infections to parasitic infections etc. For example, when you've taken antibiotics, they can kill the good bacteria in your body (in the gut, sinuses, etc.) making you vulnerable to fungal infections. Another example, when you've been sick with any kind of infection for a while, you become vulnerable to parasitic infections, and there are so many different parasites that can cause so many different symptoms. Most doctors won't look into these possibilities, even though they really really REALLY should. Antibiotics only work on bacterial infections!

 

Anyway, you've got to find a great doctor who will really investigate everything until he finds the cause(s) instead of just spending 10 seconds with you and immediately writing an antibiotic prescription without any thought to it. You have my sincerest best wishes on this.

 

It could be allergies, but you need a doctor who will investigate it. You may not have to just learn to live with it, even if that's what a lazy doctor tells you. As for allergies getting worse, everyone with an allergy to pollen has seen their allergies get exponentially worse over the last few decades because the pollen amount has increased exponentially, and most scientists think it's because of climate change btw.

 

I'll come back and maybe edit this post after I read more in the topic. I just wanted to get this typed up quickly.

 

edit: I'm glad you figured it out! I've had mold-caused problems before too, and they're terrible! Glad you got it fixed!

 

Edited by iloveadamruinseverything

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