Swollen Lips

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Natural Horn, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. Natural Horn

    Natural Horn New Friend

    Apr 11, 2011
    I have been having swollen lips quite frequently lately. Have to ice my lips after every practice, never have to do this before. Use to practice 1-2hr 6x a wk with no problem. Lately my lips swell after 20-30min of practice and having problem switching from low notes to high notes but not the other way round. Advice from friends didn't help much. Getting very frustrated.
  2. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    NH .... is there anything different in your routine?
    new teacher
    new horn
    new mouthpiece
    new girl friend
  3. amzi

    amzi Forte User

    Feb 18, 2010
    Northern California
    As coolerdave said, is there anything different? At the very least clean your mouthpiece with warm water and soap. You may be developing a nickel allergy--but if so you should also be having redness with the swelling. If you suspect a nickel allergy coat your mouthpiece with a thin even coat of clear fingernail polish and see if that helps. If pollen is especially high in your area and you're subject to allergies this could be playing a role in your problem also.
  4. Natural Horn

    Natural Horn New Friend

    Apr 11, 2011
    Hi coolerdave! My teacher is old, my horn is old, my mouthpiece is old. As for the girlfriend, my wife would kill me if I have one!
  5. Natural Horn

    Natural Horn New Friend

    Apr 11, 2011
    Amzi, thanks. I will try the fingernail polish.
  6. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Have you changed your diet? Obviously, sodium intake increases will cause you to retain more fluids. Are your lips in pain or they just won't perform? Awhile back a poster talked about his swollen lips and not being able to play at all. Seems he had a hankering for some salt & vinegar chips and consumed a bag before he played. It wrecked his night.
  7. Fluffy615

    Fluffy615 Piano User

    Nov 30, 2006
    New Jersey
    It sounds like you need some time off of the horn. This happens to me every once in awhile. In fact I'm just getting over it this week. It usually happens when I have a big change in the amount of playing I do. If I'm involved in a gig with a lot of added rehearsals in addition to my usual routine I will go through something similar to your problem. If you can take a day or two off that's the best medicine. Try some pedal tones and lip bending exercises for temporary help. Good luck.
  8. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Lots of thoughtful suggestions already given. I like the nail polish idea. But then again, you may be sensitive to the nail polish.

    If you want to rule out a sensitivity to nickel, you could just put the mouthpiece to your lips for 20 minutes -- without playing -- and see if you get the same reaction.

    ... or ...

    If you have access to a plastic mouthpiece (like Kelly), try playing one of them, and see if you get the same reaction.
  9. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Are you using a lot of pressure,or playing too loud? Both of these will cause lips to swell. Sometimes we use more pressure than we think we're using or playing louder than we should.
  10. amzi

    amzi Forte User

    Feb 18, 2010
    Northern California
    Just to make myself clear--the fingernail polish is only a way to check if you suspect a nickel allergy. It is certainly not foolproof and absolutely not a long term solution. But fingernail polish is cheap if you don't have a plastic mouthpiece at hand.

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