If you woke up with a hoarse voice, it wouldn’t be quite as tragic as if it happened to Adele or Lady Gaga, but it still would be problematic. If this seems to happen to you often, you want to know the causes and what you can do to banish it from your life. If you have a job where you must do a lot of talking, it is imperative to find a solution. Let’s learn about the causes of a frequent hoarse voice and what to do about it.
Common Causes of a Hoarse Voice
Medically known as dysphonia, having a hoarse voice can be troublesome for many people. You may sound raspy, breathy, or strained when you try to talk. It happens to people who talk too much, for too long a period, or too loudly.
It is also common for your voice to change and become raspy as you get older, and this is due to your vocal cords becoming thin and limp with age.
Since it is one of our main ways to communicate, it’s vital to keep our voice healthy. It is not usually serious and normally improves in a short time.
Some of the common causes for a hoarse voice include the following:
- Having a cold or sinus infection
- Having laryngitis caused by your vocal cords swelling from allergies, a cold, or an upper respiratory infection
- Vocal cord hemorrhage where blood vessels in your vocal cords rupture. When this occurs, you can speak but not sing.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) when stomach acid comes back up through your esophagus. In this case the acid reaches the vocal cords.
- Some neurological diseases and disorders like Parkinson’s Disease or a stroke which affects the part of your brain that controls muscles in your larynx.
- Having nodules, cysts, or polyps in your throat which are usually non-cancerous
Most of these issues will improve with normal treatment within 2 to 3 weeks. If you are still hoarse after that, it’s time to see Southern California Ear, Nose, & Throat in Southern California. There could be something more serious going on.
How To Reduce Chronic Hoarseness
First and foremost, stop smoking. The next remedies include avoiding caffeine and alcohol which will dehydrate you, drinking lots of water, using a humidifier, avoiding spicy foods, and try to avoid talking too much or too long. Also, stop eating 3 hours before bedtime so that reflux will not affect your vocal cords.
Resting your voice may be the most important remedy.
Don’t ignore chronic hoarseness especially if it lasts for weeks.
Contact Southern California Ear, Nose, & Throat at one of our locations for an evaluation if your voice has been hoarse for more than 2 weeks. You can call your preferred location directly or request an appointment through our secure online form. We have ENT clinics in Long Beach, Los Alamitos, Newport Beach, and Huntington Beach.