Bacterial infections, excessive coughing, overuse of your voice or heavy smoking and drinking may cause temporary loss of voice. This condition is also known as scratchy voice and can affect both children and adults. Sometimes, even crying for a long time (in babies), or singing and shouting (in adults) may result in scratchy voice. Exposure to certain chemicals and acid reflux disease are also associated with transient acute loss of voice. There are several severe medical conditions, which can be the reason of scratchy voice, too, including tumors in the thyroid, lungs or in the voice box. Singers and other people whose career depends on their voice are very sensitive, so it is recommended to undergo some voice training, to learn how they should protect their voice from any harm.
Acute loss of voice is not a serious condition and it usually resolves in a few days, while chronic loss of voice may need even several months to be cured. This condition is harmful for your vocal chords, so try not to speak or strain your voice as little as possible at that time. Speak gently and quietly or don’t speak at all, if whispering causes additional stress and further affects your voice.
Preventing Additional Problems with Scratchy Voice
Be careful with your voice, if you already have some problems. If you are a smoker, quit smoking immediately or at least cut down your daily dose of nicotine for the time being. Smoke is known to dry the mouth and because of that negative effect it is best to avoid it completely when your voice is stressed. Stay away from people who smoke and avoid places where smoking is allowed, while you are recovering your voice.
Dust and various other particles suspended in the air can significantly affect your scratchy voice and worsen your condition, so avoid such places if you can.
Coffee, tea and some caffeinated drinks, as well as alcohol are known to dehydrate the throat and because of that, they should be used with care in situations when you are experiencing scratchy voice.
How to Treat Scratchy Voice
Cause of your problems with vocal cords should determine the treatment of the problem. You can have some of the home treatments that helped many people dealing with scratchy voice, such as gargling salty water, eating garlic soup, drinking ginger or basil tea or having inhalation.
Salty water is a well-known remedy for scratchy voice. One cup of warm water and half a teaspoon of salt is all you need. Dissolve salt in the water and gargle the solution gently, several times a day.
Garlic soup, due to the antibiotic property of garlic, is efficient remedy for scratchy voice. You could add some herbs to the soup but don’t use any salt preparing this remedy.
For ginger tea, use fresh ginger roots and soak it in the water for 30 minutes. Make the tea from that water and add some honey, to sweeten the remedy.
Inhalation of steam is very beneficial for scratchy voice, ensuring very quick relief, especially if you repeat the process several times every day.