I am a 65-year-old woman who sang professionally years ago. Just 9 months ago, I tried to get back into it, but my voice has become squeaky. It has improved a bit with practice but the high notes are still out of range. I am gluten intolerant: is that a possible cause? I also have sinus drainage. I have had a goiter all my life and been on thyroid medication for it. Could this be the key? In that case do I go to an Endocrinologist? I have been to 2 Ear-Nose-Throat doctors, an allergist and a speech specialist with a PhD. No one has been of any help. If you have any thoughts I would be most appreciative. Thank you.
All of the health issues you have mentioned can contribute to swelling and/or a lack of flexibility in the vocal cords, which in turn can result in a squeaky tone. Squeakiness likely be eliminated with vocal technique, whatever the cause, and a better use of the instrument might even help reduce swelling. However, voice work cannot replace the need for medical intervention. You have done well to consult professionals and I recommend you continue to work with them as you resolve these vocal challenges.
Because of your age, you might never again sing as high as you once did. Some people retain high notes into the 70s but others do not. There is no way for me to say what is possible, but given your health issues, you might have to reconsider your concept of your vocal range. Working with a good voice teacher can help you find what is possible and I highly recommend you do this. The professionals you have sought thus far do not specialize in high notes and the singing voice so they might not be the best to help you.
Here are some things to think about:
— If you push against the voice in an attempt to make a stronger sound, this can actually cause it to squeak. You need to sing gently, timing the coming together of the vocal cords exactly with the start of the exhalation. You need to keep a very refined, threadlike core in the vocal tone, as though it is being threaded through the eye of a needle.
— You need to have very strong ribs, great posture and abdominal flexibility and release to support pace the flow of air and support the voice.
— You need to access all of your resonators in the head and chest to produce a rich, full tone without force.
— Do all of the medical and dietary shifts you can to support your health.
— Drink lots of water and avoid things that dehydrate the voice.
— Choose repertoire that suits your voice NOW and grow into more challenging songs as you improve.
— Follow your voice and it will teach you what it can and wants to do. Engage the process with heart and wisdom and embodied intuition. May the grace of wholeness and the spirit of fun be with you!