You don’t realize how much you miss the sound of your voice or ability to talk until you lose it. Hoarseness can take you by surprise, or it can be a symptom that slowly starts to appear, depending on the cause.
While some cases of hoarseness might resolve over time, other situations might linger to where more advanced treatment like speech therapy is needed. Our team at Excel ENT of Alabama is here to help you decipher the cause of hoarseness, as well as provide treatment options to help you find your voice again!
What Causes Hoarseness?
Hoarseness, which is also known as “dysphonia,” is defined as a condition in which you experience abnormal voice changes.
The common causes of hoarseness include but are not limited to:
- Common cold
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Neurological disorders
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Thyroid problems
- Trauma to the voice box
- Upper respiratory tract infection
- Voice abuse (like using voice too much, too loudly, etc.)
Because hoarseness can be caused by a number of medical conditions, it is important to seek an evaluation by a professional to make sure the right diagnosis and treatment plan is put together for your condition.
Prevent Hoarseness Before It Starts
Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect your voice before the symptom of hoarseness sets in and treatment is needed.
First, if you are a current smoker, quitting smoking can help to prevent hoarseness and voice deepening to occur. In addition, you can lower your risk of lung cancer and other medical conditions that are increased by smoking. Talk to a professional today about how you can start on the road to living a smoke-free life!
Second, make sure you are drinking plenty of water each day. While water is beneficial to our overall health, it can specifically help our voice, too. Since mucus is vital to protecting our vocal cords, staying hydrated helps your body to create that thin, watery mucus to ensure protection of your voice.
Finally, be sure to give your voice a break every now and then, especially if you are using it for longs period of time. Singers and educators, for instance, are using their voice more than most. This can cause strain on the vocal cords if a “time out” isn’t given once in awhile.
Therefore, sometimes the best thing you can do for your voice to prevent hoarseness is to just take a break from speaking.
Treatment Is Available!
While some cases of hoarseness can be taken care of with plenty of rest and possibly some medications to soothe your throat, other treatment methods like voice therapy might be required if your hoarseness doesn’t alleviate within a few days.
Voice therapy can be a wonderful tool in relieving the symptom of hoarseness, as the process can both help to reduce damage to your vocal cords while also restoring the health of your voice.
Lost your voice? Contact the team at Excel ENT of Alabama today to schedule an appointment to discuss how voice therapy could help you to find your voice again!