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Hoarseness of Voice - What is it?

Updated on September 16, 2015

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Hoarseness of Voice

One of my colleagues had hoarseness of voice today. When asked about it she said the voice changed for the last two days. It appeared that she had to take more effort in producing the same amplitude of voice which she had normally. I saw today a very meek and tired friend of mine who used to be very bold, loud and active.

Hoarseness of Voice-Definition

Hoarseness is a change in voice; pitch and volume. The voice may be deepened or may become very weak.

The vibrations of the vocal cords produce sound when we speak or sing

Consult a doctor if you develop hoarseness of voice

Did you look for home remedies the last time you got hoarseness of voice?

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Causes for Hoarseness of Voice

Acute laryngitis or inflammation of larynx is the most important cause for hoarseness. The vocal cords which are very important in producing the voice are situated within the larynx. When we speak the voice is produced as a result of the vibrations of the vocal cord. Any irritation or damage to the vocal cords can produce hoarseness of voice. Like my friend who was tensed about her diagnosis, many of us think about more complicated things when you hear the term hoarseness. So the least complicated and treatable reason for hoarseness of voice is laryngitis.

The other reasons for hoarseness may include excessive smoking, problems related to the thyroid gland, injury or some growths on the vocal cords, allergic inflammation or cancer of the larynx.

Larynx- Cartilages

  • Visualization of the larynx is also possible by indirect method like a small hand mirror held at the back of the throat or with the use of a lighted headgear.

  • But direct laryngoscopy with the help of a flexible laryngoscope allows for better visualization of deeper structures

What to do if you develop Hoarseness of Voice?

  • Consult a doctor if you develop hoarseness of voice

  • The doctor may ask you the details like onset and duration of your symptoms

  • Whether you have any associated problems

  • Your doctor may refer you to an otolaryngologist if you had hoarseness of voice for a longer duration

  • Visualization of the vocal cords with the help of a flexible or rigid laryngoscope may sometimes be required.

  • If the hoarseness of voice is due to laryngitis secondary to upper respiratory tract infections, the voice gets better as the infection subsides.

  • If you smoke the doctor will ask you to stop smoking and the voice improves once you quit smoking

  • Voice rest will help in regaining the normal amplitude of voice

  • If the hoarseness is due to other serious concerns further investigations and treatments will be required.


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    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 2 years ago from India

      @Indian Chef

      Thanks for the visit

    • Indian Chef profile image

      Indian Chef 2 years ago from New Delhi India

      Very informative blog. I liked it.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 2 years ago from India

      Hi Au fait

      Yes, as you said, hoarseness is not very serious most of the time. It could be due to minor illnesses. Thanks for the useful information

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Hoarseness can be caused by lots of things. Sinusitis, common cold, flu, allergy, post nasal drip, and many other things, and of course the more serious conditions you stated. Hoarseness may come and go if it's related to allergy or virus, etc.

      I have had hoarseness from time to time since I was a little child, and I know many other people who have also. It's usually a passing condition and unless it persists, need not be a major worry.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 4 years ago from India

      Hi MsDora

      Thanks for the visit

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      I had a sore throat and hoarseness for about two days. Probably an infection. Thank you for the facts.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 4 years ago from India

      Hi Shyron E Shenko,

      My friend still didn't get it back fully. But she is better.

      Happy to hear that yours was not problematic

      Thanks for the visit

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      Thumbi, I hope that your friend got her voice back. I got mine back. but went through some extensive tests and a biopsy of a lump, which was benign.

      Interesting hub, voted up, useful, interesting and shared.


    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 4 years ago from India

      Hi DDE

      Thanks for the visit

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hoarse voice sounds a serious issue and should definitely be seen to by a doctor.