Many individuals don’t think about voice disorders until they are dealing with one! Having an affected voice can impair your ability to communicate and your sense of identity. Keep reading to learn about the most common disorders that affect the voice and how you can get your voice back to normal!
Laryngitis is the main cause of voice loss. Caused by a virus, laryngitis results in swelling of the vocal chords and a voice that’s severely hoarse or lost completely. Laryngitis can be acute, or chronic with persistent voice hoarseness. There is no antibiotic for laryngitis, so proper rest and hydration is the recommended treatment plan.
Voice Misuse and Abuse
Your voice is a muscle, and like any other muscle in the body, it can be strained by abuse or overuse. Singers often experience this type of voice loss because their profession requires constant use of their vocal chord muscles. You might experience temporary voice loss from yelling over loud music or other voice straining activity. Prolonged use and improper breathing technique can leave you with a hoarse or lost voice. Strenuous vocal activity can also lead to a bruised vocal chord or vocal chord lesion, affecting your voice.
Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease (LPRD)
Even those who do not experience common signs of reflux with GERD might develop voice hoarseness due to stomach acid moving up into the esophagus. This stomach acid can irritate the vocal chords, usually being worse in the morning. LPRD can also lead to a feeling of a lump in the throat and difficulty swallowing.
Voice Care and Therapy
Being careful not to overuse or strain your voice and learning proper voice use techniques can help to prevent some voice disorders. Voice disorders often resolve after the cause is identified and treated, but if your voice disorder is persistent or if you’re unsure of the cause, you should see an ear, nose, and throat specialist for an examination. In some cases, laryngeal cancer is to blame, so proper diagnosis and treatment are very important.
If you are in the Denver area and need assistance identifying the cause and treatment of your voice disorder, contact Associates of Otolaryngology for your appointment with an ENT expert.