The vocal folds or cords are muscles within the larynx (voice box) that produce sound. As air passes through the voice box in and out of the lungs, the vocal folds vibrate to make noise. When the vocal cords are inflamed or irritated, they may not be able to work correctly, changing the sound of your voice. If you are experiencing voice hoarseness, Julie Zweig, MD Integrative Sleep & ENT offers diagnosis and treatment for voice disorders at our clinic in Alpharetta, GA.
Causes of Voice Hoarseness
When you have a hoarse voice, it may sound scratchy, raspy or different in pitch. You may not be able to produce as much volume as normal. Voice hoarseness is a common condition and usually only lasts a few days before the vocal cords heal and restore their normal function. Some of the most common causes of a hoarse voice include:
- Overuse or strain (laryngitis)
- GERD or LPR (acid reflux)
- Upper respiratory infections
- Smoking and excessive alcohol use
While most causes of voice hoarseness are not serious, they can cause damage to the vocal cords. The irritation from stomach acid, post nasal drip, smoke and strain can cause a painful sore throat and voice hoarseness. Treatment for the causes of voice hoarseness can provide relief and restore a more pleasant sounding voice.
When to See a Voice Specialist
Most voice hoarseness will go away in a few days. When you experience a hoarse voice that lasts for weeks, it may be a symptom of a more serious medical condition. Thyroid problems can cause a hoarse voice, as well as throat or laryngeal cancers. It is important to visit a qualified ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist if you have voice hoarseness for prolonged periods of time.
Julie Zweig, MD Integrative Sleep & ENT is your source for advanced diagnosis and treatment for throat and voice problems. We utilize a holistic approach to patient care with a combination of integrative, functional and alternative medicine. If you have voice hoarseness, contact our medical center in Alpharetta, GA, to schedule a consultation and exam with our voice and ENT specialist.