Advertise on ChoralNet 
ChoralNet logo
The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Sjogrens Syndrome

One of my singers has Sjogrens Syndrome.  It is an auto-immune disorder in which the body cannot produce moisture in the eyes, the mouth and throat.  How can I make her singing experience more comfortable?   Carla Strandberg, Director, Women of Note 
on June 22, 2014 9:13am
Carla,
Actions for her to take:
 
1. SIP water with some degree of frequency (but swallowed water does not directly moisten the vocal folds; maybe indirectly).
 
2. Pay attention to the relative humidity in the air she breathes, somewhere in the range of 35% to 50%. [The lower percentage is based on early NASA research into humidity levels within space capsules to normalize astronaut mucus production levels in the upper airway.] In a "well watered," non-Sjogren's person, inhalation only through the nose moisturizes the passing air to about 60% relative humidity. Continual breathing of "dry" air, however, will eventually reduce fluid levels in mucus, thus thickening it.
 
3. Inhale vaporized water periodically. This can be done by soaking a clean washcloth with hot tap water, wringing it it out, carefully placing it over nose and mouth ('sealing' it with hands), and inhaling moisturized air through the washcloth several times at several locations on the washcloth. Also, after wetting the washcloth, tent it over her open eyes to allow a degree of moisturization.
 
4. Biting on the sides of the tongue may cause an effusiion of mucus into the upper airway (true in non-Sjogren's people; don't know about Sjogren's people).
 
Hope doing the above helps your singer to sing more comfortably.
Leon
  • You must log in or register to be able to reply to this message.