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Chronic Phlegm Problem

I'm 47 years old and have been singing karaoke since 2007. Coincidentally, I started experiencing breathing problems the year before. Initially, I thought I was just out of shape and that's basically what the doctors told me (even though I played volleyball about ten hours or more a week).

These problems increased and I finally found a doctor in 2010 who noted that my breathing passageways were inflamed and narrowed. Around this time, I also noticed a large quantity of phlegm was draining into my throat. The phlegm problem increased and doctors didn't have any ideas why this may be happening. Four months ago, I went on a strict diet, mostly for my heart rate and blood pressure. I had been on a couple diets in the last few years, but it hadn't helped my breathing/phlegm problem.

This time was different, and my phlegm has cleared up substantially, giving me a much clearer tone and wider range. I think I have figured out the problem...my body's ph level is too acidic. I'm starting to take steps to change that.

I sometimes have phlegm flare-ups and today is one of those days. I joined KTV three nights ago and the last two days I had been able to sing nearly anything I've wanted (after watching only the first eight videos--OK, so they weren't great performances, but I was excited!). Today is a different matter. The phlegm hinders my higher notes. Plus, I'm sure the hours of singing high-pitched songs wore on my vocal muscles.

A few questions:

1. Can singing higher notes incorrectly cause phlegm drainage?

2. Are there any warm-ups or other things I can do to reduce the phlegm build-up in my throat before singing. I already drink a ton of water--it's ice water, though, not room temperature.

3. What are the specific (immediate) effects of having phlegm in your throat while singing?



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    highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,359
    edited June 2015

    Exchange the ice water for room-temperature, if you want to have more benefit for your cords.

    The exercises themselves, are warmups, especially the lip rolls and the tongue exercises.  Do those for a while, and then add the basic first LAH exercise.  You should be warmed-up after fifteen to twenty minutes of normal exercises.  You should let this warmup loosen up the phlegm.  Don't try "clearing your throat" as that can irritate the cords.  Sing it off.  It will come loose if it's going to. 

    Phlegm in the throat will coat your vocal cords and can rob you of your upper mid voice.  It's like having a muffler on that part of the cords. Singing higher notes will not cause phlegm drainage.  Allergies and illnesses can cause phlegm.

    There are videos on this in the KTVA package.  There is a YouTube video where Ken talks about mucus and how to fight it off.  


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    JohnM68JohnM68 Pro Posts: 11

    Wow, ThanX, a 30 minute video on mucus! Whodda thought that would get 84k hits?

    Wish I'd found this years ago. I'll get to it later today.

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    highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,359


    Not exactly something to get the family together with soft drinks and popcorn to watch, but important information that all singers have to deal with.

    Thanks to Ken for providing it.


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