Ear, Nose Throat, ENT, ENT Specialist, GERD, health, health care, Throat Pain

Do I have Hoarseness?

Hoarseness or change in voice is one symptom that would immediately drag you to a doctor. It’s a symptom that could be an indication of a common cold or a grave disease, so we’ve to be very cautious in our approach towards it.

What is hoarseness?

Hoarseness is heaviness or a Raspy or throaty or scratchy or husky voice. Any change in the tenor of voice could come under “Change in Voice”. A patient is the best judge of their voice so they’re the ones who’d know about the change.

What could lead to a change in voice?

Voice is produced from vocal cords in our Voice box or “Larynx”. When these vocal cords meet in the midline and vibrate then they produce voice. At times there’s a problem in opposition of vocal cords:

  • Swelling
  • Growth
  • Cyst
  • Nodule/polyp
  • Trauma
  • Ulcer

These all could lead to a change in voice.

Few professions are more prone to diseases of vocal cords like:

  • Teachers
  • Singers
  • Stage performers/ actors/ anchors
  • Street vendors/ hawkers

They use their vocal cords more than many of us and at different pitches too so that at times leads to the formation of vocal nodules/polyps over the cords which hinders the proper alignment of vocal cords leading to hoarseness.

Vocal hygiene should be maintained.

Voice Care:

  • Do not overuse/miss use your voice
  • Do not sing in a high pitch of low pitch voice for a long duration
  • Take regular steam inhalation
  • Provide adequate voice rest
  • Avoid overindulgence of spicy/ oily/ very cold/ very hot food/alcohol/caffeine
  • Stop smoking
  • During bouts of flu or cold do minimum talking.
  • Try to use your normal voice instead of whispering and shouting
  • If the job requires constant use of loud voice then use mikes and speakers

Conditions leading to hoarseness:

There are many conditions leading to change is voice most common of all is Acute Laryngitis which is inflammation of the larynx. It’s mostly Viral in origin and self-limiting. Other diseases are:

  • GERD
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis
  • Vocal Nodule/Polyp/ Cyst
  • Allergens/ respiratory irritants/ smoking
  • Neurological disorders
  • Thyroid diseases
  • Trauma to neck/ larynx/ vocal cords
  • Cancer (neck/thyroid/lungs)

Hoarseness is a symptom, not a disease so it’s treatment lies in treating the cause.

Through my series of posts in approach to Hoarseness, we’ll cover the diseases and the treatments which might lead to a change of voice.

I hope my post was helpful.

Be Healthy & Be Happy

Images courtesy Google

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