Deterioration of voice quality and tone due to problems in the vibration of the vocal cords or the layer surrounding the vocal cords is called hoarseness. In the formation of sound, the lung pumps air, there are vocal cords in the larynx, and the vocal cords are closed, allowing the sound to pass through a narrow place. In the formation of sound; lungs, vocal cords and the tongue, lip and jaw muscles that shape the voice play an important role. The vocal cords, called vocal cords, are very important in the formation of sound. Hoarseness is usually caused by problems such as irritation or damage to the vocal cords. The vocal cords are part of a formation in the larynx called the voice box. The space between the vocal cords and the glottis is called the glottis. During sound formation, the lung pumps air and the vocal cords are closed, allowing the sound to pass through a narrow place. The main cause of hoarseness is the insufficient closure of this space between the vocal cords, called the rima glottis. Conditions such as a feeling of being stuck in the voice when speaking, muffled voice, intermittent interruption of the voice and low volume occur with hoarseness. In the person; There are hoarsenesses that are thinner, coarser, bifurcated, tiresome easily, constantly muffled, in the form of a whisper, and even in some infections, which do not go away at all.
Causes of Hoarseness
– Infections such as flu, cold, or sinusitis and bronchitis diseases that occur in upper respiratory tract infections and cause acute laryngitis
– Incorrect and excessive use of voice; speaking loudly, shouting, screaming, singing for a long time
– allergic conditions
– Prolonged and persistent cough
– Active smoking or exposure to long-term passive smoking, excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption
– Laryngitis (bacteria,viruses,fungi); Inflammation of the pharynx where the vocal cords are located and experiencing sore throat
– Being in extremely dry and dusty environments and being exposed to polluted air
– Formation of nodules, polyps or cysts in the vocal cords; Nodule formation is generally seen in occupational groups (teacher, singer, imam, etc.) that use vocal cords frequently. Polyps and cysts are benign formations as a result of bad use of voice. Both cases can be treated with sound therapy. If voice therapy is not sufficient, surgical intervention is considered.
– Exposure to inhalation of toxic substances
– Neurological diseases; such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease
– Reflux; Acid reflux condition can cause irritation in the vocal cords, coughing and hoarseness, as the acidic stomach contents leak back into the esophagus and come back to the throat, creating a burning and bitter water taste in the throat.
– Cancers of the larynx, thyroid and lung
– Thickening of the vocal cords during the transition to puberty in boys
– Some psychological problems
People with hoarseness can first eliminate this hoarseness within 3-5 days with the help of warm water and beverages that soften the throat, such as herbal teas. If the flu, cold and laryngitis occur due to the condition, hoarseness goes away after they are treated. However, if this situation continues even after drug treatments and when you have your voice rested, and if it does not pass for 10-15 days, then a specialist ENT doctor should be consulted.
Hoarseness is not a disease and is a symptom of other diseases. Treatment also varies from patient to patient. Since hoarseness can occur due to many reasons, your doctor first listens to your history. Thus, the doctor has an idea about the patient. Treatment depends on the underlying cause. The extent of the hoarseness as well as the patient’s discomfort with the hoarseness and their expectations also guide the form of treatment. Endoscopic laryngeal examination is required for hoarseness. After the examination, it is requested to rest the voice in hoarseness due to excessive use. In cases of infection or gastric reflux, medicated treatments are applied. If there are signs of reflux and there are conditions such as edema of the vocal cords, diet therapy and antacid drugs are given. Since the diagnosis is made by examination in diseases such as laryngitis, nodules, polyps, and cysts, there is no need for an examination and in such cases, the patient is sent to a voice therapist for voice training. In this case, it is very important for the patient to rest his voice. Because, especially in acute laryngitis periods, if the voice continues to be used intensively, it may cause serious injuries that may result in bleeding in the vocal cords. Surgery may be required in cases such as benign nodules, polyps, trauma to the vocal cords and laryngeal cancer.
What should be done to prevent hoarseness?
The environment in which the person is located is also very important in the treatment of hoarseness. Breathing dry air irritates the throat and in this case causes inflammation of the vocal cords. This is especially true in winter when ventilation is poor. Therefore, in winter, hanging wet towels on the heater or using a steam machine helps to humidify the air. The moist air thus provided helps to thin the sputum and heal the irritation in the throat. The air conditioner used in summer or winter is also a condition that dries the air.
Excessive use of the vocal cords should be avoided. It is one of the most important things to do to pass the hoarseness. Using your voice as little and without force as possible will help you heal.
It is a substance that triggers hoarseness in cigarettes. Especially during this period, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption should be avoided.
High daily water consumption prevents throat irritation and keeps the vocal cords moist. Herbal teas will also be good for voice hoarseness.