Hoarse Voice Treatment

by Sharon Hopkins

The inflammation in the voice box or larynx causes the voice to become raspy, and this condition is known as laryngitis. It affects the quality of the voice and can also make talking difficult.  Hoarseness is generally an acute problem; however, it is cured on its own. Nonetheless, persistent hoarseness may be the result of an underlying health condition and should be diagnosed by a physician.

When there is an abnormal change in voice such as a breathy, raspy voice or there are changes in the pitch or volume of a person’s speech, it is known as a hoarse voice. Hoarseness is related to disorders in the vocal folds of the larynx, or the voice box. Inflammation of the larynx causes swelling of the vocal cords, which results in hoarseness of the voice.

Causes of Hoarse Voice

Talking too much or too loudly over long periods results in hoarseness. Over exertion of the voice box may result in the formation of polyps in the vocal folds. Other common causes that attribute to hoarseness include the following:
  • Stress
  • Allergy
  • Cold
  • Infection caused by a virus or bacteria
  • Inhalation of irritants
  • Smoking
  • Acid reflux
Chronic hoarseness may be due to underlying conditions such as:
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Laryngeal cancer
  • Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, strokes, etc.
  • Trauma to the vocal cords

Common Signs and symptoms of Hoarseness

Common symptoms of hoarseness include harsh, raspy voice. It may also cause a change in pitch or volume of the voice. However, any associated symptoms may result owing to the underlying disease.  Other symptoms include:
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sinus congestion
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sore throat

Treatments

The treatment depends on the underlying cause. If the hoarseness is due to upper respiratory tract infection, then cough suppressants and humidifier can be helpful. Hoarseness caused by vocal overuse can be treated with voice rest. Voice rest is vital to avoid further injury to the vocal cords. Intake of fluids and nonprescription medicines for sore throats are some common treatment options. Antibiotics and antihistamines are prescribed for hoarseness resulting from allergies.

Home Remedies for Hoarse Voice

Mostly, hoarseness can be treated by resting your voice and adopting certain lifestyle changes. Hoarse voice remedies include the following.
  • Rest your voice for a week. Avoid whispering as it puts more strain on the vocal cords.
  • Do not clean your throat.
  • Avoid smoking and intake of alcohol.
  • Using a humidifier or try inhaling a steam from a bowl of hot water help to keep your throat moist.
  • Add a pinch of salt to a glass of warm water and gargle several times.
  • If hoarseness is caused due to a cold or an allergy, treat the cold or allergy. Your voice will return to normal once the condition is treated.
  • If the cause is acid reflux, consume a low acid diet. While lying down, keep your neck raised.
  • Add a pinch of turmeric powder to a cup of hot milk. Drink this hot milk before going to bed. Do not drink any water after drinking it.
  • Avoid talking, singing, yelling, and a lot of laughing as such actions can strain the vocal cord thereby worsening the condition.
  • In order to keep the vocal cords moist, it is recommended to drink six to eight glasses of water throughout the day.
  • Avoid intake of caffeine completely.
  • Massaging the neck, throat and jaws helps to ease the condition.
  • Honey has been used to soothe hoarse throat and can be added to a warm herbal tea. Do not give honey to an infant under the age of one.
  • Herbs such as eucalyptus, licorice, marshmallow, peppermint, and slippery elm are helpful in strengthening the body and are used as hoarse voice remedies.
  • Gargling with herbal teas such as chamomile, sage, and blackberry provides relief.
References:

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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