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Justin Timberlake: The health scare that put his career on hold – symptoms

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Justin Timberlake announced his musical talents to the world as one sixth of the boy band NSYNC. Few could have predicted the towering success that would follow. The best-selling artist’s vocal talents have undoubtedly been a blessing that have also been a curse.

In 2018 the pop star had to postpone a number of tour dates due to bruised vocal cords.

The difficult decision came after doctors advised him to rest his voice and “hold off on singing until next month,” he wrote on Instagram.

He said: “My vocal cords are healing, but they are not all the way back to normal yet.”

Justin Timberlake was slated to perform at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, as part of his Man of the Woods Tour, but he pulled the plug hours before it was to take place on the advice of his doctor.

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“Hey guys, I’m sorry to announce I have to postpone the show at MSG tonight on doctor’s orders. My vocal cords are severely bruised,” the singer revealed on Instagram.

The singer added: “I’m gonna make this up to you and the new show will be on my birthday.”

Keen to not leave his fans in the dark, he promised “more info to come”.

What are the vocal cords and how can they be damaged?

The vocal cords are two bands of elastic muscle tissue – they are located side by side in the voice box (larynx) just above the windpipe (trachea).

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Like other tissues in the body, vocal cords can be strained and damaged.

According to Harvard Health, strained vocal cords generally aren’t noticed until the problem becomes severe.

“People who use their voices for a living or who shout or scream frequently are at particular risk,” explained the health body.

It adds: “People who work in noisy environments that require shouting to communicate are also at risk.”

Signs and symptoms may include:

A breathy quality to the voice
Noisy breathing
Loss of vocal pitch
Choking or coughing while swallowing food, drink or saliva
The need to take frequent breaths while speaking
Inability to speak loudly
Loss of your gag reflex
Ineffective coughing
Frequent throat clearing.

How to treat vocal cord disorders

Fortunately, vocal cord disorders caused by abuse or misuse are easily preventable.

In addition, most disorders of the vocal cords can be reversed.

According to health body Johns Hopkins Medicine, Your doctor or health specialist will figure out the best treatment based on a number of factors.

These include:

  • How old you are
  • Your overall health and medical history
  • How sick you are
  • How well you can handle specific medicines, procedures, or therapies.
  • How long the condition is expected to last
  • Your opinion or preference.

“A referral to a speech-language pathologist who specialises in treating voice, speech, language, or swallowing disorders,” explained Johns Hopkins Medicine.

In certain circumstances, surgery to remove growths may be required.

Other treatments include:

  • Resting the voice
  • Stopping the behaviour that caused the vocal cord disorder
  • Medicine.

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