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Streisand's Range, Amplitude May Be Limited : Health: Laguna Hills doctor speculates that laryngitis could cause singer's voice to break, fail to reach notes. He says rest is the best treatment.

May 26, 1994|ZAN DUBIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

An ear, nose and throat specialist in Laguna Hills said Wednesday that asking Barbra Streisand to sing with viral tracheal laryngitis would be like asking an injured runner to enter a race.

"She could talk, she may be able to sing, but she's a true vocal athlete; her range will be affected, and her amplitude,' said Dr. Lee Hartman. "She may not reach notes she wants to, or her voice may break. It just wouldn't be her.

"I make the analogy of a runner with a mild leg injury. You may not see him limp, but if you put him in a race, his time performance would be altered."

Acknowledging that he doesn't "even know the woman," the doctor offered an explanation of what forced Streisand to cancel her opening concert here. Viral tracheal laryngitis "simply means an inflammation of the larynx, or voice box, and the trachea, or windpipe," he said from his office at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills.

"Permanent injury," even scarring, could result if Streisand forces herself to sing while ill, he added.

Treatment?

"Voice rest," and occasional medication to reduce swelling.

And how long can it last?

Since it is viral, "it may be anywhere from a few days to several weeks."

* Times Link: 808-8463

To hear the latest on the rescheduling of Barbra Streisand's canceled show at The Pond of Aand t fate of her upcoming concerts there, call TimesLink and press *5800

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