If you feel like there’s been a major difference in your voice from your normal tone, you may be experiencing a vocal cord condition known as hoarseness. Hoarseness of the throat is a symptom that leads to changes in your voice, causing a pitchy strained voice whenever you speak. One of the major reasons for this type of symptom is a disorder related to the larynx. Hoarseness is a condition that goes away quickly if you get the right treatments. However, sometimes hoarseness can prolong, and if it doesn’t go away within two weeks, you need to seek medical help immediately. To learn more about hoarseness, continue to read this article further.
Causes that Lead to Hoarseness of the Throat
There are a few reasons you may experience hoarseness, which is when your larynx starts to harden up. Mentioned below are a few major causes of Hoarseness:
Laryngitis is a health condition in which your vocal cords get inflamed. This issue derives from an infection in your upper respiratory tract or constant yelling and signing. Laryngitis is quite common and gets cured within a few days. Not to mention, it is one of the most common reasons behind voice hoarseness.
2. Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is a common gastric problem that usually triggers hoarseness. When experiencing gastroesophageal reflux, the acid in your stomach starts to gather up and tends to reach the food pipe through which you swallow. This, in turn, comes in the way of your vocal cords, causing hoarseness.
Certain allergies, such as pollen or thyroid issues, tend to trigger the larynx causing hoarseness.
- Larynx Cancer
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Vocal cord paralysis
- Cysts or Polyps in vocal cords
Best Ways to Treat Hoarseness
A few treatment options are available to treat hoarseness instantly. Usually, some people don’t require treatment as hoarseness may not last that long and gets better within a few days. If you’re suffering from an upper respiratory tract infection, the hoarseness fades away itself. However, you can use cough suppressants to fasten the healing process and sit around an air humified environment to encourage fresh and clean air.
One of the best treatments for hoarseness is staying silent. This is sometimes impossible if you’re a student or if your job requires you to speak a lot. The best you can do is to speak less and give a break to your voice box. This will give your vocal cords sometime to relax and gets better for you to scream next time.
If you’re suffering from hoarseness because of bad smoking habits, consider quitting smoking or reducing it. A few medications help treat gastroesophageal reflux and allergies that are the reasons for your hoarseness.
Surgery is the last treatment option available that you can only consider if your doctor feels like you have polypus triggering your vocal cords. Often, people who have larynx cancer receive surgical treatment.
Prevention Methods for Hoarseness
Mentioned below are a few ways you can avoid hoarseness next time:
- Drink ample amounts of water daily to help clear your internal system and prevent you from many other illnesses
- Quit smoking and avoid being in areas where you can passively smoke
- Maintain a healthy diet, and avoid foods that encourage too much spice. It’s also best to avoid high consumption of alcohol
- Speak in a subtle tone, and don’t overuse your voice by screaming and yelling too much unnecessarily
- Use home humidifiers that will promote clean air and reduce the possibilities of a throat infection and symptoms like hoarseness
- Reduce consumption of caffeine
- Seek treatment as soon as possible if you sense any signs of hoarseness. Delaying professional help may just make your condition worse.
Diagnosis of Hoarseness
There are a few tests that your health professional will conduct to give you a final diagnosis of the issue you’re facing. The best way to diagnose hoarseness is through a laryngoscope. This is a medical instrument that doctors use to check signs of hoarseness. The doctor will place it at the back of your throat to examine the tissues in your throat and the voice box. You can also use a mirror to identify this by a laryngoscope that is much more reliable.
If you visit a doctor, they will first take your medical history and make a diagnosis. You will also have to go through a few lab tests and x-rays that may help make a clearer diagnosis of your condition. An ENT specialist tests your voice and can tell whether you have hoarseness or not.
Hoarseness of the Throat: Conclusion
Hoarseness can get a bit unbearable at times for a few people. Hence before it worsens, you must attain immediate medical help, preferably from a professional ENT. If you’re searching for an ENT specialist in NYC, get in touch with none other than Dr. Michael C. Burnett, MD, for immediate and effective consultation and relief.