So, what must you do if you get laryngitis? Completely rest your voice – no talking, no whispering (this is the worst thing you can do), absolutely no singing (this includes warm-ups), no vocal sounds what so ever. This is the first essential treatment you do. Stays hydrated, be in a room with humidified air and avoid triggers like cigarette smoke. Naturally you will see your Doctor for additional treatment as you will be desperate to get your voice fully back again – for your own sake and for financial reasons – this is our job and if we don’t sing or present, we don’t get paid most of the time.
Right, now you are recovering well and many students ask me when will I know when I can start singing or presenting again? Firstly, even if the obvious symptoms of laryngitis have subsided, your cords often remain swollen. If a very cautious, safe and gradual warm up for 5 – 10mins doesn’t make your voice feel better and your voice is not gearing up in the normal way you know it should, then stop! Your voice hasn’t recovered enough or you are singing / speaking the warm ups incorrectly.
At the end of the day, you are going to have to be patient and let the healing progress do its thing. This is not going to be in your time-frame! Keep resting the voice. Acknowledge that it will be a frustrating time but your goal is longevity of the voice – if you sing or present on a very sick larynx expect serious vocal injury occurring with an even longer recovery period. Discipline is a big part of any serious and committed vocal athletic – laryngitis will test your self-control but I have faith in you and you will come through the other end singing or speaking superbly again.