Change in the sound and/or speed of the voice. Causes include laryngeal polyp, laryngitis, laryngeal carcinoma, throat carcinoma, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, hypothyroidism, oral surgery, tracheostomy, tracheal injury, and laryngeal injury.

Symptoms of Hoarseness

The following features are indicative of Hoarseness:
  • hoarse or raspy voice
  • lost ability to hit some high notes when singing
  • voice suddenly sounds deeper
  • achy or strained throat
  • take an effort to talk
  • sac-like appearance of the vocal folds
  • stretching of the mucosa
  • shortness of breath
  • tickling sensation and rawness of throat
It is possible that Hoarseness shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Hoarseness

The following are the most common causes of Hoarseness:
  • self-limited laryngitis
  • malignant tumors of the vocal cords
  • acid reflux
  • allergies
  • breathing in irritating substances
  • cancer of the throat or larynx

Other Causes of Hoarseness

The following are the less common causes of Hoarseness:
  • chronic coughing
  • colds or upper respiratory infections
  • heavy smoking or drinking
  • overuse or abuse of the voice

Risk Factors for Hoarseness

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Hoarseness:
  • dysphonia
  • Chiari malformation
  • Marfan syndrome
  • screaming
  • constantly clearing throat
  • smoking
  • bronchitis
  • sinusitis
  • excessive alcohol intake
  • stomach acid
  • workplace chemicals
  • overusing voice

Prevention of Hoarseness

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Hoarseness. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoid smoking and secondhand smoke exposure
  • limit alcohol and caffeine
  • drink plenty of water
  • avoid eating spicy foods
  • avoid clearing throat forcefully
  • avoid upper respiratory infections

Occurrence of Hoarseness

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Hoarseness cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Hoarseness most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged between 15-60 years

Common Gender

Hoarseness can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Hoarseness

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Hoarseness:
  • Laryngoscopy: To visualize the movement of the vocal cord
  • Stroboscopy: To examine the mucosal waves
  • Biopsy: To examine the tissue under a microscope to know the cause

Doctor for Diagnosis of Hoarseness

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Hoarseness:
  • Otolaryngologist

Complications of Hoarseness if untreated

Yes, Hoarseness causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Hoarseness is left untreated:
  • throat infection

Procedures for Treatment of Hoarseness

The following procedures are used to treat Hoarseness:
  • Phonosurgery: To remove the fluid from the vocal cords
  • Voice therapy: To improve the voice’s quality and range
  • Surgical microlaryngoscopy: To improve the patient’s symptoms

Self-care for Hoarseness

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Hoarseness:
  • Breathe moist air: Use a humidifier to keep the air throughout the home
  • Rest your voice: Avoid talking or singing too loudly for long time
  • Drink plenty of fluids: Prevent dehydration
  • Moisten the throat: Try sucking on lozenges and gargling with salt water to keep the moistened throat
  • Avoid whispering: Reduces the strain on voice

Time for Treatment of Hoarseness

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Hoarseness to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 3 months

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Hoarseness.

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