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Chronic Hoarseness
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If your voice sounds raspy or strained, you are experiencing hoarseness. Also called Dysphonia. Hoarseness is a very common condition and may be produced by a variety of benign and several more serious conditions. One out of three people will experience significant hoarseness at some point in their lives, and it can affect people at any age. Typically, hoarseness goes away after a few days, but when it persists for two weeks or more, it becomes chronic hoarseness.
Causes of hoarseness, include vocal abuse or overuse, bacterial or viral infections, cysts or polyps on the vocal cords, vocal cord or voice box cancers, and vocal cord paralysis. Hoarseness most often results from upper respiratory infection(URI). Hoarseness from URI usually resolves spontaneously. Hoarseness from any condition may be exacerbated or prolonged my gastroesophageal reflux disease(GERD) as well. If other symptoms from the URI clear up and you continue to be hoarse, you should see one of our doctors at Shea Clinic as it could be a sign of a serious medical condition.

There are some treatments for acute hoarseness you can try at home. The most effective at-home solution is voice rest – just avoid using your voice for a period of time; or speak with a quiet voice. We recommend you avoid prolonged whispering as it can encourage unhealthy voice patterns that may be difficult to discontinue. Whenever you speak, your vocal cords vibrate which may aggravate them if they are already inflamed; so limiting speaking allows them to recover. Hydration and humidifier can also relax your vocal cords and assist recuperation. If these treatment options don’t work and the hoarseness persists, schedule an appointment!

At your appointment we will examine your vocal cords with the latest technology scopes and stroboscopy to find the cause of your chronic hoarseness, a treatment plan will be made. If you have a vocal cord condition, voice therapy may be the best route for treatment. With voice therapy, you strengthen and heal your vocal cords. In serious cases surgery may be required. If chronic hoarseness is left untreated, it can cause permanent damage to your vocal cords.

When you lose your hearing, those around you suffer the most.

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