Ashford Clinic Blog
Why Am I Always Hoarse?
During cold, winter months, it is common to experience the uncomfortable feeling of a sore throat or a hoarse voice after a long night of sleep, or after overextending your voice in chilly weather. In situations like these, a scratchy throat usually clears up quickly, or can easily be soothed with a warm drink or gargling saltwater. However, for those experiencing chronic hoarseness and throat discomfort, this can be more difficult to relieve, making talking strained and difficult. Chronic hoarseness can also be a sign of a bigger problem that may require medical attention. Before you buy throat drops, or chalk it up to a change in the weather, here are some reasons that may be causing your chronic hoarseness.
Laryngitis is caused by inflammation of the voice box or vocal cords. Common infections like a cold or the flu can be responsible for the swelling that produces laryngitis. In turn, this can cause symptoms like hoarseness that can last upward of two weeks. Usually, treatment involves medications to reduce the inflammation in the vocal cords, drinking lots of fluids, and keeping your vocal cords moist until the infection clears up.
Thyroid nodules are small growths caused by an accumulation of thyroid cells. Nodules are relatively common, and usually noncancerous. However, sometimes a nodule can become so large that it presses into the vocal cords creating chronic hoarseness and making it hard to swallow. A nodule that has gotten to the point of causing chronic hoarseness could potentially be a sign of cancerous tissue. These kinds of nodules are generally treatable and curable. A proper examination is usually necessary to determine the kind of nodule and find the best treatment solution.
Irritants and Allergens
Whenever vocal tissue loses moisture, it can cause a dry, itchy throat, or hoarse voice. This is commonly the result of some allergen like dust, or an irritant like smoking. Allergies and their symptoms can usually be treated easily with the use of medication. Smoking can cause permanent throat damage, making the need for treatment a serious matter. Smokers that suffer from chronic hoarseness should have a medical examination due to the severity of the health problems related to smoking.
Silent Reflux, also known as Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease (LRD), occurs when stomach acid escapes your stomach and comes in contact with your throat and voice box. Chronic hoarseness, and symptoms of heartburn are common signs of Silent Reflux. Treating Silent Reflux sometimes requires making changes to your diet, or taking medicine to decrease the buildup of gastric acid.
If you have questions about chronic hoarseness, or think you may be experiencing one of these issues, don’t hesitate to call our office or schedule an appointment. You can reach us at (706)248-6860.