In humans voice is produced by small organs which are parts of the larynx and are called vocal cords. Every once in a while one can catch cold or some other infection of upper respiratory tract and apart from many symptoms develop hoarse voice. Still, this symptom is not always connected to inflammation and infections. It may also point to the presence of some other even more serious medical conditions and this is why it is supposed to be reported to the doctor especially if the patient is a smoker or if the hoarseness lasts for a longer period of time.
Causes of Hoarse Voice
In children and adults infection such as common cold or even sinusitis represent the leading cause of hoarse voice. Furthermore, hoarse voice may be only one symptom in patients suffering from gastroesophageal reflux. Sore throat, chronic cough, laryngitis allergies and tonsillitis are another possible cause of hoarse voice. Shouting and speaking in higher voice for a longer period of time may also result in a hoarse voice. This particularly refers to singers and speakers whose profession includes prolonged and excessive abuse of vocal cords. Irritants such as cigarettes and alcohol are also responsible for hoarse voice. And finally, hoarse voice my be a feature of laryngeal tumors.
Treatment for Hoarse Voice
In case that hoarse voice is a consequence of infections it is best for the patients not to talk and especially to avoid singing. This can only prolong the process of healing. Resting of the vocal cords is essential. But, since there is always need for a person to speak it is most appropriate to do that in natural pitch range.
Furthermore, it is recommendable for one to drink plenty of water. Water will keep the vocal cords moist enough and accelerate the process of healing. Lukewarm water is the best option.
One should stay away from coffee and alcohol until the vocal cords completely heal. Both of these substances cause dryness of the throat and increase irritation interfering in the healing of the vocal cords.
Patients suffering from gastroesophageal reflux are supposed to take prescribed medications which reduce the production of stomach acid.
Allergic people need to stay away from potential allergens and those susceptible to smoke should avoid exposure to smoke as much as possible.
The room the patient is lying in should be humid enough. Dry air makes the situation only worse increasing the irritation of already damaged vocal cords.
And finally, for all those who suffer from hoarse voice and this symptom lingers for a couple of weeks it is highly recommendable to visit their doctors.