Pulmonary Fibrosis News Forums Forums Welcome Lounge How coughing has affected my singing voice

  • How coughing has affected my singing voice

    Posted by allan-reinap on October 28, 2022 at 11:36 am

    Hi everyone,

    I’ve been dealing with IPF for about 2 years now but it’s been about a year or more since the coughing has seriously affected my “talking” voice and more so, my singing voice.  I have been playing guitar and singing for 50 years now.  Even given the acknowledgement of my age, I have lost my ability to sing the songs I have sung over the years.  I know it’s the cough that has worn out my vocal chords.  I always keep water nearby when I find myself wanting to speak, especially when I’ve been quiet for so long.  A sip of water helps for the immediate words spoken – sometimes lasts a while, other times not.  There are times when I can keep a conversation going, but many times I have to sip or as soon as I try to speak, I cough.  It’s a dry cough. Very frustrating.

    I’m hear to ask for any ideas or thoughts about this.  Losing my singing voice has been so traumatic for me I don’t speak to anyone about it.  I know I’ll just lose it if I begin to speak about it.  Any thoughts or questions about this would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks

    linda-del-degan replied 1 year, 3 months ago 5 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • allan-reinap

    October 29, 2022 at 9:15 am

    Edit: I’m here to ask….

    • lou-body-iv

      November 1, 2022 at 3:15 pm


      I play the Dobro and piano and sing as much as I can with my cough. I’m a bluegrass junkie. It’s tougher than it used to be but a menthol cough drop or two or three usually helps. Singing and playing exercises the lungs and that, I’m told, is a good thing. I’m frustrated, like you, but I refuse to let my guard down and stop the music. If you are singing to people, or in a group, let them know, in advance, that you have a few lung issues. They’ll forgive you. Just keep having fun doing the best you can. Lou

      • allan-reinap

        November 2, 2022 at 8:29 am

        I have 2 good friends I play music with who are really into Americana and blue grass. They understand, even my frustration with it while playing. Like you, they continue to encourage me. Thanks!

    • patricia-meadows

      November 8, 2022 at 10:47 am

      Hi Allan.  Such a pity that something you enjoy (singing) plus something that we need in our everyday life (speaking) is affected so much.  I took a short course in voice acting a few years ago.  The instructor said that eating a Granny Smith (or probably any) apply seemed to help people avoid clearing their throat or coughing.  Just a piece of folk medicine, but it might help you.

      Best wishes,

      Patricia (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

    • linda-del-degan

      November 8, 2022 at 2:47 pm

      I’m so sorry to hear about your experience. It must be so difficult for you.
      It’s definitely a loss of something that brought you happiness.
      This illness takes its toll on each 1 of us.
      It is a loss & as such we need to go through the grieving process. It may be beneficial to talk about it, as a means to express your grief.

      There have been studies that singing is beneficial for our lungs. In the UK they have singing rehab sessions. I have looked into it & unfortunately I haven’t found any.
      Is this something you could do on webinar? I would love to participate.

  • linda-maguire

    October 29, 2022 at 11:35 am


    Have you been evaluated for GERD (Reflux)?  When I was diagnosed with IPF 7 years ago, my newly acquired pulmonologist sent me for a myriad of tests, one of which was a barium swallow to rule out GERD.  I had had a dry cough for about 5 years prior, which was what eventually led to my diagnosis, but I had no symptoms of reflux!  I had lots of throat clearing and had also lost my singing voice, but no heartburn, so I was taken by surprise when the barium swallow and later an endoscopy confirmed that I had terrible “silent” reflux.  Once I started taking Prilosec twice a day, the throat clearing lessened & my singing voice returned!  Apparently reflux damages your esophagus in a way that affects your voice, and treating the reflux helped me considerably.  It has also lessened my cough somewhat.  I have since learned that there is a correlation between IPF & GERD, so this might be something to rule out.  I also find it helpful to suck on a Vit C or other lozenge when my cough is bothersome.  Best wishes!  Linda

    • allan-reinap

      November 2, 2022 at 8:37 am

      Thanks for your post Linda. I’m taking a med for GERD. I don’t think it’s that. My doc doesn’t think it’s that other than the annoying cough that comes with IPF. I appreciate your response. Thanks!

Log in to reply.