Before you read this article, should you experience similar difficulty, do not hesitate to seek professional medical help. My strong advice for myself is I would immediately seek an ent specialist near me, and get myself checked.
Most Americans regard hoarseness as an inconvenience. The condition often begins as an itchy throat that gradually gives you a raspy hoarse voice or dysphonia. The American Academy of Otolaryngology reports that hoarseness affects almost one-third of the population.
Dysphonia or hoarseness typically occurs when the folds of your larynx (voice box) or vocal cords get affected by certain problems such as reflux, allergies, or colds. However, chronic hoarseness can be a sign or symptom of a more serious health condition.
Understandinow your Larynx Works
How does your larynx or vg Hoice box produce sound? When you breathe, your vocal cords relax so the air can pass smoothly to your windpipe. Your muscles are the ones pushing the air up from your lungs and through the narrow gap of the vocal cords. The action makes the cords vibrate that is responsible for producing sound. The irritated vocal cords or throat makes it impossible to complete the process.
Causes of Hoarseness
Take note and keep in mind that hoarseness is not an illness or disease, but it is a symptom of an illness that can be simple or life-threatening. Even if the symptom is treated, the underlying cause will remain as a threat to your health. In this regard, it is important to consult an ENT (ear, nose, and throat), doctor. He is the only professional who can conduct proper examination and diagnosis so he can design the most effective treatment plan for your case.
Upper respiratory infection or cold is one of the most typical causes of hoarseness. There are many other possible causes, which include:
- Smoking or secondhand smoke exposure
- Spasms of vocal cords
- Side effects of the medicines you are taking
- Inflammation caused by allergies
- Excessive use of vocal cords
- Laryngitis or the swelling of the vocal cords
Hoarseness is prevalent among those who rely on their voice to make a living, such as teachers, coaches, singers, and call-centre agents. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, a lot of those folks over 65 years old or boys from age 8 to 14 also experience hoarseness.
A lot of cases of hoarseness are not life-threatening, but don't neglect it. Hoarseness can be linked with severe illnesses such as:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Lou Gehrig's disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Cancer of the larynx
- Parkinson's disease
- Head and neck cancer
Length of Time that Hoarseness Last
If your hoarseness is caused by upper respiratory infection, cold, or allergy, it could last between seven and ten days. If your hoarseness is not showing any improvement within two weeks of acquiring it, you need to consult an ENT doctor right away. You could be suffering from a serious disease. Other signs of a more serious health condition include:
- Severe changes in your voice
- Breathing difficulty
- Pain when you are swallowing
- Coughing up blood
- Presence of lump in your neck
Effectual Remedies to Try
Here is a list of five simple, effective remedies that you can try in treating hoarseness:
- Giving your voice the needed rest.
- Using a humidifier in your home.
- Taking in lots of water, especially if your residence is situated in a dry area.
- Avoiding actions like clearing your throat every now and then and coughing excessively.
- Giving yourself a voice therapy to modify how you use your voice, especially if your line of work requires you to talk or speak for long hours.
There are times, depending on the underlying cause, when surgery is the best option to take. This is especially true if you have mass in your neck. Your doctor may recommend biopsy, CT scan, or MRI to determine the best treatment options.
The following are the things that you can do to help prevent hoarseness:
- You need to avoid using your voice excessively.
- If you experience seasonal sinus infections, you must consult your doctor for the right allergy treatment.
- Don't drink beverages that can cause dehydration, such as caffeinated and alcoholic drinks.
- Don't smoke or avoid places where there are a lot of people smoking.
- Don't patronize any type of tobacco products.
- Don't eat spicy foods.
Remember that you need to consult an ENT doctor for proper diagnosis.