I am 23 years old and have been singing religiously for 3 years now. I recently took a job where I talk on the phone for nearly 8 hours a day. Lately it seems as if my voice is less powerful and less full when I sing. Have I permanently damaged my vocal chords from over use or have I just possibly hurt another muscle in my throat? Thank you for taking my question.
I’m certain you have not damaged your voice permanently, although the folds might be irritated and swollen. You need to support your speaking voice as rigorously as you do your singing, phonate in a very precise way and keep the resonance balanced. That way, your body will be tired at the end of the day, not your voice. Also drink lots of water. You can also steam. Avoid mint and things that dehydrate. Drink Throat Coat tea if you can (by Traditional Medicinals), avoid salty foods, and rest. If you have a voice coach, have him or her help you work with both singing and speaking to find an optimal use of the voice for both.