Voice Case of the Week: Does Smoking Marijuana Affect the Voice?

Osborne Head and Neck Institute Case Presentation:

Figure: Stroboscopy imaging of the larynx demonstrating laryngitis.
Figure: Stroboscopy imaging of the larynx demonstrating laryngitis.

This is a case of a 24 year old male professional singer who has noted gradual loss of vocal range over the past year. He has had increased demands over that period of time but is studying with a vocal coach. He feels that he is technically proficient, and this is reaffirmed by a conversation with the vocal coach. There has been gradual onset of a ‘rattle’ or ‘gravel’ sound in his voice that he cannot avoid. This is now present in his speaking voice in addition to his singing voice. He used to only experience hoarseness after performances or a lengthy studio session but now feels it is more consistent and takes longer to recover. He has no known medical problems but smokes marijuana once a day, in the morning, through a vaporizer. He is fastidious about keeping it clean and is very particular about his diet. He is gluten-free and does not consume any reflux triggers. He has been tested for allergies and is negative.

Click here for Los Angeles, laryngologist, Dr. Reena Gupta, MD’s diagnosis.

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