Hoarseness of Voice(Laryngitis)

Dr. Raman Abrol is a senior consultant at Abrol ENT Institute & Research Centre, the Best ENT specialist in Chandigarh. He talks about the Hoarseness of voice (Laryngitis)

What causes hoarseness of voice? 

The most common causes seen are viruses, infections, flu, something called upper respiratory tract infection. In which a patient may feel a little feverish, sore throat, change in voice, known as laryngitis.

Laryngitis is the temporary but common cause of hoarse voice. Excessive use of voice, which is called abuse of voice can be another common cause of it. This may happen when you shout very loudly or try to yell in noisy surroundings. Temporary hoarseness can be caused by singing or making a speech more than you are usually used to. In simple terms it is called “gala baithna”.

The causes mentioned above cause temporary hoarseness and can be treated easily. The basic treatment for this, voice rest along with some decongestant, anti-allergic therapy. 

Getting a little more technical, there are many other causes of hoarseness of voice. That is more serious and needs more assessment, investigation, and treatment. This can be broadly divided into the following:  

Organic: 

The causes of laryngitis or hoarseness can be organic. This can be as the person is affected by one disease, that disease may affect the voice box as well causing hoarseness. These may include trauma, hurting the voice box, surgical trauma, etc. 

In teachers, singers, vendors, public speakers, due to continuous talking, they may develop a few organic problems. Like, swollen vocal cord, polyps in the vocal cord. This may take a little longer to heal as they require special treatment. In these cases, the hoarseness may persist for more than 2-3 weeks. In these cases, it is very necessary to consult an ENT doctor, he will investigate further and treat it accordingly. 

A neoplasm: 

A neoplasm can be another cause of hoarseness. In this case, there is cancerous growth mostly seen in people who consume tobacco, alcohol, paan, or smoke. This needs serious diagnoses and serious treatment, Dr. Raman Abrol also suggests cutting off all these habits. 

Thyroid: 

There are a few systemic ailments in the body like thyroid, hyperthyroid. These also affect the vocal cord and cause hoarseness for a couple of months. 

Tuberculosis: 

There can be a few inflammations or infections like TB. If the person has TB in his chest it can naturally affect your voice box as well.  Broadly organic causes are which have a legion that requires detailed treatment. 

Functional hoarseness: 

Functional hoarseness is the other set of causess. In this, there is no legion but something to do with the psychology of the patient. In this the person does not speak at all, they state they are unable to speak. This may happen as they are under some stress, they are tense. 

How can hoarseness of voice be treated? 

If the patient has an upper respiratory tract infection or has abused his voice. The treatment would be nothing but to keep quiet, maun vrat or voice rest 3-4 days. For swelling, de-inflammatory tablets are advised, and for the flu, steam inhalations are required. One must keep hydrated, drink plenty of water to keep the throat moist and humid. A lot of patients suffer from acid reflux, they are suggested to take an antacid. 

Whatever the cause may be, one should consult an ENT doctor, get an endoscopy, laryngoscopy is done. This will help detect the exact cruise, like bumps, polyp, or swelling, and help treat it accordingly. 

Systemic disorders like thyroid or TB can be treated medically. And for functional disorders, the patients mostly only require constant. Consistent speech therapy, behavioral and psychotherapy, mostly relaxation and rehabilitation exercises are also advisable. 

There is a permanent type of voice change. This is when a boy becomes an adult or he is entering into puberty at the age of 13-16  years. This change is called Puberphonia, this can also be treated with speech therapy.

COVID-19 guidelines

During these times of crisis, Dr. Abrol encourages to adapt Covid appropriate behavior. Like wearing a mask, social distancing, avoid touching surfaces, doors, or doorknobs, sanitize your surroundings regularly. Sanitize your hands after touching anything, avoid touching your face, mouth, or nose as much as possible. One of the ways the virus is transmitted is through touch. And when you shake hands with someone and then you touch your face or nose. This can deem dangerous. Another thing to keep in mind is not to use compact elevators.  These compact elevators have a maximum capacity of 4 people. These close enclosures may be the major cause of spreading Coronavirus in these apartments or buildings.

Now talking about the preventions, Dr. Abrol suggests getting vaccinated for COVID-19. The vaccination, according to Dr. Abrol, is very effective. Busting the myths about the vaccination being ineffective, Dr. Abrol said that these rumors are baseless and do not have an authentic source. He himself is a doctor who sees a number of patients on a regular basis and he can vouch for the effectiveness of the vaccine available for Coronavirus.

He also adds, the effect of the vaccine takes place after two weeks of both the vaccines being taken. It is a misconception that only one dose of the vaccine will work. The virus affects the patients who have taken the vaccination (both shots). But the effect of the virus is very mild and can be treated easily.  The rate of the vaccinated people being affected is only 5%.

Lastly, as we do not have any particular treatment for COVID-19, Dr. Abrol asks the audience to get vaccinated. There is less availability of beds, no proper supply of oxygen. Getting vaccinated is the only way to prevent covid-19. 

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