I am a 25-year-old professional, female singer. I have performed with Top 40 bands, 6 nights per week, 5 hours per night, in smoky rooms, dancing full choreography and singing in all styles: jazz, funk, pop, R & B, and rock. I needed to perform in any health conditions for the past 3 years. Before this experience, I had a really wide range with a good whistle technique, and rich color throughout the vocal range. But when I started work with a band, I found that my voice was not strong enough for the “long distance.” I lost about 1.5 octaves of my high range. Falsetto or high belting voice was often not there each night when I needed it. Sometimes I even could not talk but at night when I was stepping on the stage some portion of my voice was there to work with. I stopped working a month ago. I have checked my voice with a E-N-T specialist. He said that my cords are swollen and do not coordinate properly, but there are not vocal nodules. I am having chronic laryngitis. I am wondering if, with proper rest, treatments and vocal exercises, it is still possible to bring back my whole voice after straining it for so long? How long does it usually take to recover damaged vocal cords? Thank you very much.
Everyone’s recovery time is different and dependent on how deeply reflexed the mechanisms of overwork are in your proprioseptic memory. It will also depend on your beliefs, emotional anxiety and the quality of help you get. And of course you can recover and maybe even be better than ever.
You will need to work with a gifted, knowledgeable voice coach and possibly also with a speech pathologist.
You need to focus on creating stylistic shifts without digging into the vocal cords. To do this you will need to focus on resonance and articulation separate from breath management and phonation.
You can gather some information from reading other posts, especially those on breath, phonation, fatigue and nodules, but I would not recommend that you work on your own. You really should seek professional help and you will make a full recovery.