Are you experiencing a hoarse lost voice? A loss of voice hoarseness may have many causes, but one things is for sure ~ give it a rest. Your voice that is.
Hoarseness, or dysphonia for technical, is marked by sound production difficulty, volume change or abnormal pitch when you speak. When hoarse, your voice may sound breathy, raspy, scratchy, strained and/or husky. Some even struggle with a loss of voice all together.
These hoarse or lost voice changes are caused by a hindrance to your vocal cords or larynx. For example, swelling or lumps on your vocal cords interfere with their vibrations, causing voice quality, volume and pitch distortions.
Some causes for lingering hoarseness are minor, while others are not. Here are some of what may be causing you to lose your voice:
- air toxins
- strep throat
- throat cancer
- viral infection
- common cold
- postnasal drip
- talking too much
- prolonged crying
- multiple sclerosis
- thyroid, lung cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- upper aorta aneurysm
- gastroesophageal reflux
- excessive throat clearing
- inhaling, ingesting irritants
- heavy alcohol, tobacco use
- after surgery vocal cord nodules, paralysis
Most often hoarse dysphonia is associated with laryngitis.
Some prescription medications, OTC drugs and herbal supplements can cause voice function hoarseness. Most often your medications induced lost voice is due to their “drying out” vocal cord side effect. For instance, some of these can adversely affect your voice toward hoarseness:
- muscle relaxants
- asthma medications
- high dose of Vitamin C
- blood pressure medication
- estrogen replacement therapy ~ menopause
- oral contraceptives ~ causes vocal cord edema
- insufficient thyroid replacement ~ hypothyroidism
Your voice in the state of being chronically hoarse can lead to nodules, polyps and sores on the vocal cords. Most lost voice problems can get your voice back without these complications if treated early.
Treatment during your initial phase of a hoarse lost voice episode include:
- give your voice a rest
- humidify the air you breath
- drink lots of water to combat vocal cord dehydration
Expect your loss of voice to take several days of rest before getting it back.
Excessive talking, crying, shouting or singing makes hoarseness worse. And whispering is not a healthy alternative, it actually strains your vocal cords more than speaking.
Also, hydration is important factor for vocal health. Therefore, avoid dehydrating drinks such as alcohol and beverages with caffeine to promote a healthy voice.
If your hoarse voice lasts longer than a couple of weeks without an obvious cause, then you should discuss your dysphonia with your health care professional or a otolaryngologist.
Spasmodic dysphonia is a voice disorder caused by involuntary, repetitive or continuous spasms of the muscles that control your vocal cords. If you suffer from spasmodic dysphonia, then you may experience difficulty saying a word, your voice may break or you may notice a tight, strained or strangled feeling when speaking.
Some with spasmodic dysphonia have better luck getting their words out when singing or shouting them. While botulinum toxin injection treatments help others.