What's Causing My Hoarseness?
Do you frequently suffer from hoarseness? Determining the cause of the problem is the first step in successfully treating it. The ENT doctors at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, Camarillo and Simi Valley, CA, share a few causes of hoarseness.
Anything that strains your voice can cause hoarseness, such as cheering for your favorite team. Luckily, the problem goes away on its own in most cases. Hoarseness caused by strain can also occur if you speak loudly for a long period of time while giving a speech or talk much more than normal. Overuse of your voice can eventually cause cysts, polyps or lesions to form on your vocal folds, which can make hoarseness a chronic problem.
Laryngitis, an inflammation of the vocal cords that occurs when you have a virus or infection, can make your voice very hoarse. If you have laryngitis, it's important to limit speaking, as talking too much may damage your vocal cords.
Exposure to irritants
Anything that irritates your vocal chords can cause hoarseness. People who are exposed to fumes, chemicals or other irritants at work are at particular risk of developing hoarseness. The problem can also occur due to exposure to allergens or cigarette smoke.
Vocal fold hemorrhages typically occur when you're in the middle of yelling, coughing or singing loudly. The strain causes a blood vessel to burst and leak into your vocal chords. In addition to hoarseness, you may also notice an inability to sing or reach high notes.
Both gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) and laryngopharyngeal reflux disorder (LPRD) can cause hoarseness. The problem occurs when stomach acids irritate your vocal folds and throat.
A blow to your throat can result in an injury that causes hoarseness. If you experience trauma, it's important to seek medical care as soon as possible.
Cancer isn't a particularly common cause of hoarseness, but it's important to rule it out if you have chronic hoarseness.
How can my Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, Camarillo and Simi Valley ENT help me?
If your hoarseness doesn't improve after resting your voice, it's important to visit your ENT. Treatment of hoarseness depends on the cause. If the condition occurs due to misuse of your voice, your doctor may recommend speech and voice therapy. Taking medications that stop or reduce acid production can be helpful if your problem is caused by reflux. If you have a polyp, cyst or nodule, surgery may be recommended.
Do you suffer from frequent hoarseness? Find out how the ENT doctors at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, Camarillo and Simi Valley, CA, can help you by calling to make an appointment.