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Old 12-07-2010, 06:39 PM   #1
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Post Vocal Cord damage by a respirator

I hope someone can help me. I was placed on a ventilator in May of this year to treat pneumomia for a period of 7 days. Now I have been diagnosed with some type of COPD. During the past few months my throat is always hoarse and sore. I had a couple attacks of breathing problems which sent me to the hospital where an ENT looked down my throat. he said my left vocal cord was very sluggish and had a lot of scar tissue. He put me on prednisone and I am already on inhalers for the COPD. He said to rest my voice and dont strain at all. he said that it still may get better in the next few months. My throat closes off when I get anxious or feel like I am going to cry. It is very similar to an asthma attack I think- I cannot get any air. I try really hard to slow down my breathing and get outside. It works for awhile but it always comes back. When any sound comes out it is very croup like. can anyone tell me how to ward of these attacks as they are very scary? Why does stress, anxiety or just the urge to cry bring this on? If this keeps affecting my breathing the ENT said they will have to take out the vocal cord? Someone help me please?

 
Old 12-07-2010, 07:37 PM   #2
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Re: Vocal Cord damage by a respirator

Hi Of course there are no promises but here are a couple of true stories. A co-worker of mine forced herself to talk during a cold episode and would not take the advice to keep her voice quiet. She permanently lost her voice. A relative of mine lost her voice and was advised not to say much and she regained its use.

Writing might be used to communicate.

Doing things for others may help keep a person happier, if their happiness is looked for it will react on yourself. If a person feels like crying of course for some people the vocal cords and neck muscles may be a bit tighter at this time. Sunlight has been said to be an anti-depressant.

A certain man also was told to rest his voice because he had been sprayed with a skunk but it is still hoarse and he blames the skunk spray but he did not rest his voice either.

I would avoid sources of high dry heat to the face or in the room and be sure to keep the body properly hydrated as drying the cords is not exactly good for them.

Extreme cold is probably not so good. One author recommends 65 degrees for general room temperature.

One author says the windows aught to be opened daily for fresh air. Walks in the freshest air possible will allow as much oxygen as possible. Some people think plants offer oxygen but caution about mold developing in the pots. Soil may need occasional changing with them if there are any.

 
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:33 PM   #3
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Re: Vocal Cord damage by a respirator

So the doctor thinks you have vocal cord dysfunction? That's unfortunate. It produces symptoms similar to asthma, but attacks are very often triggered by emotional distress. The good news is, the vocal cords can constrict your breathing, but they can't close off your entire throat, so it won't kill you. Also, various relaxation and meditation techniques can be quite helpful.

It is possible that the asthma medicines are keeping your vocal cords irritated, inhaled steroids are known to do that. You can't stop taking them of course, but if you are using a dry-powder medicine such as Advair Diskus, you could talk to your doctor about switching to an HFA.

 
Old 12-08-2010, 03:24 AM   #4
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Thumbs up Re: Vocal Cord damage by a respirator

Quote:
Originally Posted by sjb View Post
Hi Of course there are no promises but here are a couple of true stories. A co-worker of mine forced herself to talk during a cold episode and would not take the advice to keep her voice quiet. She permanently lost her voice. A relative of mine lost her voice and was advised not to say much and she regained its use.

Writing might be used to communicate.

Doing things for others may help keep a person happier, if their happiness is looked for it will react on yourself. If a person feels like crying of course for some people the vocal cords and neck muscles may be a bit tighter at this time. Sunlight has been said to be an anti-depressant.

A certain man also was told to rest his voice because he had been sprayed with a skunk but it is still hoarse and he blames the skunk spray but he did not rest his voice either.

I would avoid sources of high dry heat to the face or in the room and be sure to keep the body properly hydrated as drying the cords is not exactly good for them.

Extreme cold is probably not so good. One author recommends 65 degrees for general room temperature.

One author says the windows aught to be opened daily for fresh air. Walks in the freshest air possible will allow as much oxygen as possible. Some people think plants offer oxygen but caution about mold developing in the pots. Soil may need occasional changing with them if there are any.
Thank you so much for the info. I still would like to know how to ward of these asthma like attacks as they are s oscary to me and anyone around me.

 
Old 12-08-2010, 08:52 AM   #5
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Re: Vocal Cord damage by a respirator

HI I read a book that lists asthma as one of the diseases that come as a result of Candida Albicans.

In my opinion it would stand to reason therefore that a person who has asthma should never use sweets since the white blood cells are said to move more slowly afterward. The white blood cells normally eat up pathogens.

Here is a quotation from a book that might be useful to someone. "The same remarks can be made for the benefits of electric heating pads as for hot water bottles. They are useful in peptic ulcers, bursitis, backache, arthritis, any skeletal pain, chest congestion, asthma, and many other conditions. For coughs, lay the heating pad in the bed at the level of the shoulder blades. Often the derivative effect of the heat on the skin will abolish the cough."

Are there white patches at the back of the throat?
Has the doctor prescribed oxygen for you?

 
Old 12-09-2010, 04:54 AM   #6
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Re: Vocal Cord damage by a respirator

yes the ENT said there were white spots on my left vocal cord and it is sluggish. I always rinse my mouth after I use the inhalers for my COPD. This vocal cord damage just adds a lot of extra stress on my breathing particularly when I have a head cold. I usually try and slow down my breathing when I feel an asthma attack approaching. It has been working a bit. I just need to know the proper tehnique to breathe my way through it. I will keep the heating pad in mind.My doctor has me on a low dose of prednisone a day 5 mg. I am assuming that this will keep my vocal cords from swelling and blocking my airway. I have to see him again next week so i will ask more questions. Thank you for taking the time to reply.

Last edited by hb-mod; 01-01-2011 at 08:33 AM. Reason: Removed Quote, please use "Quick Reply" rather than "Quote Reply"

 
Old 12-09-2010, 05:11 AM   #7
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Re: Vocal Cord damage by a respirator

White spots in the mouth often does mean thrush, but it's generally a side effect of asthma meds rather than the cause of asthma. Yours might be scarring rather than thrush, I don't know.

Ask your doctor about a spacer to reduce the amount of medicine deposited in your mouth and throat. If I use any inhaled steroid without a spacer, I lose my voice all the time. If you cannot use a spacer with your medicine, ask about switching to one that can be used with a spacer.

Even if you are taking Advair or Symbicort, you can still get your steroid in a spacer-safe format.

 
Old 12-09-2010, 08:39 AM   #8
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Re: Vocal Cord damage by a respirator

Hi UMMM.... prednisone lowers the immune system and therefore Candida if it is present would over time get worse in my opinion. Also the reason the question was presented was because the book I have gives a throat irrigation procedure for asthma patients are you interested in that quotation?

 
Old 12-10-2010, 05:15 AM   #9
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Re: Vocal Cord damage by a respirator

Quote:
Originally Posted by sjb View Post
Hi UMMM.... prednisone lowers the immune system and therefore Candida if it is present would over time get worse in my opinion. Also the reason the question was presented was because the book I have gives a throat irrigation procedure for asthma patients are you interested in that quotation?
Yes please quote your reply.

 
Old 12-11-2010, 02:39 PM   #10
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Re: Vocal Cord damage by a respirator

I have Laryngoesophageal Reflux and asthma. The LPR causes constant vocal cord inflammation. I'm on Advair and rescue inhalers for the asthma.

My ENT has recommended the following gargle in addition to breathing exercises, medication, diet, etc... to help calm my vocal cords.

He gave me a handout from the Texas Voice Center that had a gargle recipe for dry and irritated throats.

1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp clear corn syrup
6 oz. warmed distilled water

You gargle gently for two "long, boring" minutes then spit. He recommended not rinsing after.

Your situation is different from mine, but it might be worth trying as you try to get things under control.

Good luck,
MountainReader

 
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:10 PM   #11
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Re: Vocal Cord damage by a respirator

I forgot to ask if your doctor has made any recommendations about emergency treatment when you have episodes of your airway being closed off.

I don't know if it will work the same for you, but I carry around an Epi-pen for use until I can get emergency help. It works to open the airways for asthma, the same as it does for anaphalaxis. It might be worth asking your doctor if it might help in your situation. Any little thing that can help in a time of crisis until you can get emergency care is worth it in my opinion. It doesn't cost much for an Epi-pen and it does help give peace of mind.

Keep us posted on how you are doing. It sounds really scary. Know we are here to help support you and our thoughts are with you.

MountainReader

 
Old 12-16-2010, 11:30 AM   #12
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Re: Vocal Cord damage by a respirator

HI I am sorry I did not get right back to you. I would like to give the name of the book the procedure is in if you are interested in it instead, is that OK?

Last edited by sjb; 12-16-2010 at 11:30 AM.

 
Old 12-16-2010, 01:20 PM   #13
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Re: Vocal Cord damage by a respirator

I visited the ENT a couple of days ago. My left vocal cord is damaged from being on the ventilator for 7 days. It is scarred and hardly ever opens. he is worried about this because I also have COPD and the two problems combined can be very dangerous. he is sending me to another specialist for a second opinion.If I even get a head cold I can run into big trouble. I also have attacks at times something like asthma but my throat closes off as well so I cannot get air. I asked him when that happens can I just try to regulate my breathing. I also asked him if I passed out would my breathing become relaxed and normalize. he told me when I have an attack like that go as quickly as I can to Emergency at the hospital. For now I am on a low dose of prednisone and my inhalers for the COPD.My throat really gets sore if I talk a bit too long. I am now afraid of being alone as the attack can come on at any time. Is there anyone with a similar problem and if so I would appreciate some suggestions or facts. I will probably have a long wait to see another specialist as he is about 300 miles away and the waiting list is long here in NFLD. he sounded doubtful that it will get better on its own as it has been over 7 months since that damage was done. he also told me to go outdoors when I get an attack to see if that will help some.I also bought an air purifier and it seems to be helping my breathing. Thank you for taking the time to read my note.

 
Old 12-16-2010, 02:45 PM   #14
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Re: Vocal Cord damage by a respirator

HI here in our area they have a special call button on something the person always wears. A person can use to press in an emergency to call an ambulance. Some people think it is well worth the inconvenience of wearing all the time.

 
Old 12-27-2010, 06:07 AM   #15
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Re: Vocal Cord damage by a respirator

The ENT told me that when I get an attack go right to the Emergency at the hospital. The hospital is about 25 mins away and now sometimes I get a bit anxious when I am alone for fear that I may not get there. I will ask about an epi pen next time I see him . he is sending me to another ENT for a second opinion on what to do about this health problem which is scary when I cannot get any air. I do not know how long I will have to wait to see another specialist as it is a long wait list here in NFLD. THank you for your reply and concern.

Last edited by hb-mod; 01-01-2011 at 08:28 AM. Reason: Removed Quote, please use "Quick Reply" rather than "Quote Reply"

 
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