Discover the reasons why your voice is hoarse and what an ENT doctor can do about it.
While some people may find a raspy voice attractive, a hoarse voice may be rather startling if it’s suddenly appeared out of nowhere. There are many reasons why you may be experiencing hoarseness. Find out the common causes and when you may want to see an ENT doctor for treatment.
There are many reasons why you may be dealing with a hoarse voice. Common causes include,
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Vocal cord polyps or cysts
- Thyroid problems
- Vocal cord trauma
- Parkinson’s disease
- Cancer of the throat
But to find out what is really behind your raspy voice you will want to visit an otolaryngologist who will be able to ask you questions about your hoarseness and also perform a physical exam. Sometimes we will use a small, lighted scope that will be able to examine the vocal cords for any issues. If you have been dealing with hoarseness for about 2 to 3 weeks then it’s really important that you seek medical attention, as there could be a serious reason behind your condition.
Treating Your Hoarseness
The treatment plan that you are given will depend on the cause of your symptoms. Some acute infections such as laryngitis will clear up over time on its own, so more conservative at-home measures like using a humidifier can help manage symptoms until the illness goes away.
To prevent further damage or injury to your vocal cords we also recommend resting the voice as much as possible. If you are a smoker we highly advise that you consider quitting.
If allergies or GERD is the reason for your hoarseness they can both be managed with certain medications. Surgery is usually only necessary if there are polyps, cysts, trauma to the vocal cords or the presence of cancer.
If your hoarseness is severe or is concerning you this is more than enough reason to visit an ENT professional who can tell you what’s going on. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call.