I am a radio broadcaster who, 3 years ago, was diagnosed with "adult asthma". (I'm 44) Long-story-short, I have experienced this ODYSSEY as it relates to me NOT being able to speak properly. (or breathe!) I cannot take Advair or Flovent because they rob me of the lower registers in my voice. Since I take no maintenance drugs, I, of course, have trouble breathing because of asthma which, in turn, makes it difficult to speak. (tough to get through a :60 commercial, I can tell you!) I've been to ENT's, who have prescribed (twice) "voice-therapy". Really, no help. Sometimes it feels as though steel bands are wrapped around my vocal chords. I assume it's because I'm staining to speak.
I then had sleep apnea tests to determine if my acid reflux (I take Prevacid) contributes to my asthma (or is it asthma contributing to my apnea?) I'm told they're all connected....Anyway, I have it, so I sleep with C-Pap machine, which, of course, dries out my voice in the morning, creating yet another obstacle. I also had allegy testing done (first time in my life) and it turns out that I'm allergic to my cat (my wife will NEVER part with her) and my dog. We've removed all the carpet from our house, placed air purifiers in both the bedroom and family room, and vacuum constantly.
I'm distraught...I struggle to do my job (as well as satisfy my list of freelance voice-clients) Reading these boards and others, I've tried everything from pumping up my intake of Vitamin C to contemplating doing food allergy testing to losing a dramatic amount of weight. I don't think I've ever been more frustrated. I miss the "effortless-ness" of speaking; hence, I miss the joy of doing what I love to do. Everyday is a struggle to speak without the tightening "bands" of tension.
Oh my goodness,,,you poor thing. I know whenever I go into a flare,,,first thing to go is my voice. I lost it for 5 1/2 weeks,,,got it back for a week,,,now it's starting to go again. Do you totally loose your voice with a flare?
I know what you mean about not having enough wind to speak,,,I drive a school bus,,,can hardly get out my 'corrections' over the mic before running out of air.
I'm not sure what you could do to help it out,,,guess I just wanted to let you know I have read your post,,,you're not alone!
Why don't you try Cordyceps Sinesis. I'm not sure if that last word is spelled right or not! Anyway, it is usually known by just Cordyceps. It is a food supplement from a certain mushroom that is grown in India. The sheep herders that live in Tibet climb up and down the mountains all day in the thin mountain air and have all the wind and energy they need. Their diet consisted of these mushrooms. This was recommended to me by my pharmacist for my asthma to take along with my Advair. I have not taken it consistantly for very long, so I can't give you a personal testimony on it. My pharmacist said she knew of a man with emphysema who was able to get off of his oxygen with the use of Cordyceps. It is all natural and will give you increased energy also. It is about $24.00 a bottle at your health food store and the brand is Pharmanex. They are known for their vitamins and supplements by the FDA. It can't hurt to try!
I've replied to your post in another thread but I'll summarize it here for others in case.
I've found that Flovent destroyed my voice as well; I switched to Pulmicort which is a different steroid and a different delivery method and gravelly voice problems disappeared for me.
As for your CPAP drying out your voice, sleeping without it is hardly an option, so your sleep medics company (whoever takes care of your machine supplies like masks and stuff) should be able to provide you with a heated humidifier to use during the night. Most machines are built to be used with either a custom accessory humidifier or something universal like the kind built by Fisher-Paykel.