Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology
Allergists & Otolaryngology located in Rancho Mirage, CA & La Quinta, CA
When your hoarseness doesn’t go away or frequently returns, don’t wait too long to have an evaluation. Continuing to use your voice when it’s already strained can lead to other problems like vocal nodules. At Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology, Majid Torabi, MD, FACS, and Ryan Salvador, MD, have years of experience diagnosing the cause of hoarseness and providing customized treatment that restores your ability to speak. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Rancho Mirage or La Quinta, California, or use the online booking feature today.
Hoarseness Q & A
What is hoarseness?
When you’re hoarse, the quality of your voice changes. It may sound raspy, strained, harsh, or breathy. It could also be softer or lower. Hoarseness is a sign that something is wrong with your vocal cords, which are also called vocal folds.
What causes hoarseness?
Temporary hoarseness often occurs when an upper respiratory infection or allergies irritate your throat. Overusing your voice is another common cause of hoarseness. For example, singing in a concert or cheering at a sporting event strains your vocal cords and leads to a hoarse voice.
Other causes of hoarseness include:
- Acute laryngitis
- Thyroid disorders
- Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
- Vocal cord nodules
- Vocal cord paralysis
- Trauma to your larynx (voicebox)
- Larynx cancer
- Spasmodic dysphonia
As you get older, your vocal cords weaken, giving your voice a hoarse quality.
When should I see a doctor for hoarseness?
You should schedule an appointment at Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology when your hoarseness lasts three weeks or longer, or other symptoms accompany the hoarseness, such as:
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Lump in your neck
- Coughing up blood
- Pain when speaking or swallowing
- Losing your voice for more than a few days
You also should get a prompt evaluation if you’re a vocal professional.
How is hoarseness treated?
Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology examines your voice box and vocal cords to determine why your voice is hoarse. They may use a narrow tube with lighting and a camera to see your vocal cords and run specialized tests that evaluate airflow, sound, and other qualities.
The best treatment for hoarseness depends on the underlying cause. Most cases of laryngitis only need you to practice self-care and rest your voice. By comparison, vocal cord nodules and cysts are often treated with surgery to remove them, followed by voice therapy.
If you overuse your voice, your provider recommends resting your voice, reducing your voice use, and drinking water to keep your throat hydrated. If you use your voice for a living and you regularly have problems with hoarseness, voice therapy can help you prevent the problem by teaching you ways to adjust pitch and volume when talking.
To get comprehensive treatment for hoarseness, call Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology today or request an appointment online.
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