Karen Dunbar thanks hospital staff after 'losing her voice' to vaping

The 53-year-old decided to quit vaping but continued to find her vocal chords 'irritated'.

Scottish comedian Karen Dunbar thanks Glasgow hospital staff after ‘losing her voice’ to vaping NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Scottish comedian Karen Dunbar has thanked NHS workers after “losing her voice” to vaping.

The former Chewin’ the Fat star was referred to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) service by her GP six months ago after becoming concerned about her voice.

The 53-year-old decided to quit vaping but continued to find her vocal chords “irritated” and was regularly coughing and clearing her throat.

After appointments with speech and language therapist Rose Livingston at Gartnavel General Hospital, Dunbar was given exercises to help overcome the issue.

The treatment came ahead of the comedian’s ‘An Audience with Karen Dunbar’ live tour this summer.

She said: “I was having problems with my voice after vaping. I stopped vaping but I was still coughing a lot and was continually having to clear my throat.

“It went on for about a year and it was affecting my voice, which could have ultimately impacted on my job.

She was invited to speak at an annual celebration of NHSGGC’s SLT service this week.

“When I started working with Rose, one of the best things about the treatment I received was her manner and the care she showed me.

“She was aware of the sensitivity and the vulnerability I felt, I was scared because obviously my voice is my job.

“It’s instrumental to what I do. I have 40 live dates ahead of me so it’s imperative that I have my voice.”

Giving a speech at the annual celebration of NHSGGC’s SLT service this week at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus, she praised the “second to none” treatment she received.

She added: “It wasn’t a case of, here’s some information and off you go.

“My speech therapist Rose was invested in my care and put in the time and effort to really help and support me.

“She explained thoroughly what was happening to my vocal cords and gave me clear information about what could be done with regards to treatment.

“She taught me vocal exercises and explained the importance of voice rest.

“People think voice rest is whispering or talking quietly – it’s not.

“It is complete silence, not speaking at all. It’s like any kind of strain, you need to rest that body part completely and not use it at all.”

She added: “The care I received has been a massive part of the healing process.

“It also put my mind at rest and gave me some assurance that nothing more serious was going on.”

Catherine McGee, SLT clinical service manager and Rose Livingston, NHSGGC speech and language therapist, added: “We were delighted to welcome Karen Dunbar to our celebration event to hear about the difference our service has made to her life.

“Many people don’t realise how different occupations can have an impact on their voice, for example, actors, teachers and faith leaders are all professional voice users who spend much of their working day speaking.

“Speech and language therapy can help people learn new techniques to help protect their voice and address concerns they may have and prevent problems from getting worse.”

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