A change in your voice’s quality is defined as hoarseness. The voice can sound raspy, husky, and scratchy or it may be quite difficult for you to make a sound. It is possible to use some home remedies for dealing with short term hoarseness. However, if you have trouble breathing and your hoarseness persists after a couple of weeks, then you may need the assistance of a doctor or professional.
There are a wide array of factors that can give rise to a hoarse voice. Illnesses are a common cause of this issue, especially upper respiratory infections, colds, overuse of the voice, larynx and throat infections, chronic coughing because of smoking and even allergies. There are some other contributors as well, but they are not so common. These include an underactive thyroid gland, nerve damage to vocal cords and breathing or ingesting certain chemicals.
There are some home remedies that can be helpful for dealing with the problem of hoarseness. The first measure you should take is to stay quiet as much as possible. You will stain your vocal cords when you talk, especially when whispering and this will only cause a delay in the recovery and healing process. If you are a smoker, you will have to cut back on your habit or stop it completely in order to get rid of the hoarseness. This may be a good time to abandon the habit altogether. Soothing and warm fluids such as hot water with lemon juice or tea with honey are highly recommended. If you suffer from allergies or a cold, you can also use a humidifier. Decongestants should also be avoided as they dry out the vocal cords and may worsen your hoarseness.
If these home remedies aren’t effective and you are still suffering from hoarseness after a few weeks, it is time to get professional treatment. Don’t wait longer than two weeks, especially if there are other symptoms such as pain when swallowing, difficulty in breathing and drooling. Go to your physician immediately who will perform a laryngoscopy for examining your larynx. This involves using a mirror for looking at the back of your throat to see if there are nodules or any swelling. An infection in your throat can be identified with the help of throat culture. CT scans, neck X-rays and blood tests may also have to be undertaken for ruling out some major illnesses. The factors that cause the hoarseness will impact the treatment outlined by the doctor.
It is also possible for you to prevent the problem in the first place. You should quick smoking if it’s a habit, particularly if you are also a heavy drinker. The combination can cause various problems including diseases that are marked by hoarseness. Avoid upper respiratory infections and colds by washing your hands on a regular basis. Before singing or yelling at a football game, do warm up your voice. Exercise, eat healthy foods and drink plenty of food for taking good care of your body and staying fit so you don’t suffer from hoarseness.