Most people don’t know this, but right before my big music video release show last September, I came down with bronchitis. It started as a normal cold, but for the past few years each time I get a cold it almost always turns into bronchitis. This has been the case with my Dad as well.

Apparently I have some hereditary disposition to bronchial infections (a terrible Achilles’ heel for a professional singer). When the cold virus infects my respiratory system, it weakens it to the point that a bacterial infection quickly takes over and within as little as two days I will develop chest congestion and start coughing relentlessly.

The Monday before my show I was literally in tears lamenting my impending vocal doom, when my assistant Michelle asked if I had gone to the doctor. Why? I just had a “cold” officially and so it hadn’t occurred to me to go to the doctor since they can’t prescribe anything for a virus, and I wasn’t coughing my brains out – yet. But Michelle said that she found herself in a similar situation in high school (before a choir concert) and her doctor prescribed an inhaler for her that helped preserve her voice.

A glimmer of hope lay on the horizon…

Albuterol Inhaler saved my voice when I had bronchitis - Rebecca De La Torre

Albuterol Inhaler

So I went in to the doc and, thankfully, with my history of repeatedly getting bronchitis every 6-10 months over the years she didn’t hesitate to hand me an inhaler sample – I didn’t even have to pay!


Of course she also prescribed antibiotics to clear out the bacterial infection in my bronchial tubes.

For the first time ever I had bronchitis with minimal coughing. Sometimes, when I did cough, though, it turned into a hacking episode. But taking the inhaler stopped it quickly.

The important thing is that my voice was at 75% (at worst) that weekend, and considering my stress level and lack of sleep, that was incredible. So if you are predisposed to bronchitis as I am, go to the doctor as soon as you get a cold. Don’t wait!