Get answers to your specific medical questions from UM Medical Center experts.
Voice strain; Dysphonia; Loss of voice
Rest and time may improve the hoarseness. Crying, shouting, and too much talking or singing may make the problem worse. Be patient, because the healing process may take several days. Don't talk unless you really need to and avoid whispering. Whispering can strain the vocal cords more than speaking does.
Gargling does not help the vocal cords. Avoid decongestants because they dry the vocal cords and prolong irritation. If you smoke, reduce or stop smoking.
Humidifying the air with a vaporizer or drinking fluids can offer some relief.
Treat conditions such as:
Make an appointment with a health care provider if:
If you are having severe difficulty breathing, the first priority is to restore normal breathing. This may require the placement of a breathing tube.
Once your condition is stable, the doctor will examine your throat and mouth. You will be asked questions about your symptoms and medical history, including:
Tests that may be done include:
Treatment depends on the cause of the problem.
Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. St Louis, Mo; Mosby; 2010.
Feierabend RH, Malik SN. Hoarseness in adults. Am Fam Physician. 2009;80(4)363-370.
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