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Voice Rest and Phonotrauma in Singers

C. Michael Haben
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 27 Number 3: Page 165 (September 2012)

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Abstract: Voice rest as first-line empiric treatment for singers has been widely accepted as appropriate therapy where obvious laryngeal pathology may not be readily apparent. Few guidelines regarding voice rest regimens for singers have been published in the literature, and no published recommendations consider phonotrauma as the key to predicting the short- and long-term benefit. As a short-term solution to short-term, noncompounded phonotrauma, voice rest has a definite role. As an effective solution to compounded phonotraumatic hoarseness, voice rest may be analogous to crash diets in the morbidly obese. Any realized benefits are short-lived, and the underlying problem is rarely addressed. This article aims to clarify a reasonable role for voice rest in singers as utilized in a busy professional voice clinic. The concepts of noncompounded and compounded phonotrauma will be introduced and serve as a guide to predicting the success or failure of voice rest regimens by basing endpoints on reasonable expectations.

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