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Hoarseness Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

What Is Hoarseness ?

An abnormal voice change due to several conditions is known as Hoarseness. The change may occur in terms of volume and pitch, ranging from a harsh, deep, weak, slurred voice.

What Causes Hoarseness ?

Generally, Hoarseness is due to the vocal cords injury or irritation. The voice box is another name of larynx, a portion of the respiratory tract which contains the vocal cords. The larynx outer wall is cartilaginous normally known as “The Adams apple.” There are number of causes of Hoarseness. The acute laryngitis which is the inflammation of vocal cords is the common reason of hoarseness. The acute laryngitis occurs due to the infection of upper respiratory tract mostly.

Other causes of hoarseness are:

  • Benign nodules of vocal cord nodules or cysts,
  • Gastro esophageal reflux (GERD),
  • Allergies,
  • The inhalation of irritants to respiratory tract,
  • Smoking,
  • Problems associated to thyroid,
  • Vocal cords or larynx trauma.

What Are The Symptoms of Hoarseness ?

The symptoms of Hoarseness include:

  • The harsh and raspy quality of voice,
  • Throat irritation
  • Cough.

Though, there is a pronounced change in the volume or pitch of the voice. The onset of any associated sign and symptoms depends mostly on the underlying leading cause of hoarseness.

How Hoarseness Is Diagnosis ?

A doctor may ask the patient about their disease conditions and other symptoms associated to it. A physical examination may perform to focus on the neck and head. Occasionally, a diagnosis is done on the basis of the initial check up. In few cases, a long fiberoptic scope (flexible tube) will be introduced directly into the throat to imagine the vocal cords if there is no initially identified cause. Individuals suffering from hoarseness for more than three weeks should visit otolaryngologist to find out any serious hoarseness causes.

What Is The Treatment For Hoarseness ?

The hoarseness treatment depends on its basic reason, such as:

  • Acute laryngitis which is due to an infection of upper respiratory tract usually improves after treating infection. Cough suppressants are used as a Conservative treatment.
  • Also, Voice rest is suggested to further avoid injury or irritation to the vocal cords.
  • It is however a good option to avoid antibiotics for acute laryngitis.
  • For smokers, Smoking cessation therapy is suggested.
  • Hoarseness due to vocal misuse or overuse should stick to voice rest, since serious injury (like hemorrhage to vocal cord can happen if the voice is used strenuously during acute laryngitis episodes.
  • Medications for allergies or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux) can treat symptoms of hoarseness.

How To Prevent Hoarseness ?

To prevent the further occurrence of hoarseness, following actions must be done:

  • Avoid or quit smoking. If you breathe smoke might result in irritation of your larynx and vocal cords.
  • It is advisable to wash hands regularly. An infection to respiratory tract causes hoarseness.
  • Keep yourself hydrated. To avoid dehydration, drink 8 glasses at least eight daily.

By : Natural Health News

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