Coach Corner VOCAL HEALTH Credit Image - http://www.wallpaperhdphoto.com C By Megan Gloss Case: Celine Dion Diagnosis: Viral illness resulting in weakened vocal cords The Canadian-born pop diva known for her soaring chops and crystal clear precision was set to headline a series of performances at The Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace when she was forced to cancel 10 shows due to experiencing weakness in her right vocal cord. She headed to Los Angeles for an examination at the UCLA Medical Center, where a doctor advised the singer to rest her voice for six to eight weeks. However, after following doctor’s orders and resting her voice, Dion returned for her next run of Las Vegas shows. The cause of the vocal trouble? A viral illness How Viral Illnesses Affect the Voice had weakened Dion’s voice. According to Christopher Y. Chang, MD, head of Fauquier ENT Consultants, when a virus infects the mucosa of the upper airway, it causes inflammation of the mucosa lining including the vocal cords. With inflammation, the vocal cords swell. In the most common cases, the voice might take on a breathy, raspy or strained timbre, or show changes in volume or pitch.