Hoarseness of voice

Hoarseness, also known as a hoarse voice, indicates the abnormal voice changes in volume and pitch, and sounds weak and raspy.


The symptoms of the hoarse voice include a feeling of scratchiness in the throat. It typically makes the voice sound breathy or squeaky in volume, and keeps changing in pitch.


Hoarse voice is basically caused by the injury to the vocal cords that are two bands of muscle inside or irritable larynx. It, mostly, may happen due to the upper respiratory infection, a cold or chronic cough. When people speak loudly, talk for too long without resting, or scream can also cause temporary hoarseness or loss of voice in some cases. Other factors, i.e. benign vocal cord nodules or polyps, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), inhalation of respiratory tract irritants, thyroid problems, larynx trauma, larynx cancer and neurological conditions (such as Parkinson's disease and strokes) are proven sources of the abnormal voice change.


The above symptoms, however, are commonly discovered among the females and some certain occupational groups including singers, teachers and coaches with a higher exposure to the risk.


Depending on the underlying cause, the doctor will suggest either conservative treatment or providing antibiotics. Patients with hoarseness which caused by vocal overuse or misuse, for example, are recommended to have voice rest to avoid further serious injury including vocal cord hemorrhage when acute laryngitis occur. Medications for gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) or allergies are applicable to the hoarseness in some instances. Furthermore, vocal surgery may be necessary for benign nodules or polyps, larynx trauma and larynx cancer.


In The Specialists, our ENT doctor applies the flexible video-laryngoscope to obtain the images of larynx to provide a full picture of the health condition of larynx and vocal cord movement.  It can investigate of laryngeal diseases or symptoms such as hoarseness, vocal problem, laryngitis and laryngeal cancer.


We suggest that patients suffering from the hoarseness should visit a doctor when it persists for a long-term period in case of coughing up blood, swallowing difficulties, a lump in the neck or even complete loss of voice due to the delay of consultation.