In the last post, we wrote a bit about two of the conditions that can wreak havoc on a person’s voice. It was also clearly mentioned that such damage to the voice would cause serious harm to a voiceover actor’s career. Those two are not the only conditions that can cause such problems for professional voice talents.
Voice Strain It is a real thing. If you have ever gone to a sport event, concert, dance club or other such venue and awaken the next morning to find your voice scratchy, then you already know it is. Voice strain wouldn’t be a big problem for the average person, but when your job depends on your ability to speak clearly, voice strain can be downright terrifying. That, of course, means that you must take proper care of your voice. Sporting events can be fun without the screaming. Clubs, bars, concerts, and other such entertainments can certainly be enjoyed, but you should definitely remain aware of how you are treating your voice. In most cases, the symptoms of voice strain alleviate themselves within a few days, sometimes even within a few hours. Some damage can be longer lasting, though, and may call for some medical treatment.
Vocal Chord Trauma While most cases of vocal strain will heal quickly, there are greater dangers associated with misuse of your voice. Trying to give a presentation to a crowd without a microphone, for instance, would result in your speak at uncomfortable levels for a prolonged period of time. In most cases, this might lead to a bit of soreness and a scratchy voice for the next day or two. In worse situations, though, it could lead to vocal cord lesions or hemorrhage. The non-cancerous growths known as lesions can actually result from vocal misuse. Fortunately, these can be treated, but the healing process can certainly be longer than you’d like when you depend on your voice to earn a living. Hemorrhaging can be even worse, and may also result from misuse of your voice. The blood vessels of the vocal chords can actually rupture and fill the surrounding tissue with blood. This is considered an emergency situation, will require medical intervention, and you will ultimately be commanded to rest your voice for a prolonged period of time. That means no work.
Paralysis Surgery, illness, tumor growth, or several other problems can cause paralysis of the vocal chords. In some cases, the cause isn’t ever determined. This would be a devastating diagnosis for a voiceover artist because it can rob a person of his or her voice for a very long period of time. In some cases, it is permanent. Fortunately, it is very, very rare.
Cancer Obviously, this is the scariest diagnosis, but the medical community has made many strides. The fight against cancer is getting stronger every day. That said, any sign of throat cancer should be a reason to seek immediate medical care. Chronic throat or ear pain, trouble swallowing, sudden vocal chances, or a lump in the neck or throat should all be considered very serious symptoms. Caught in its early stages, this type of cancer is curable, and in many cases, the voice returns to normal after treatment.