A Word to the Wise: 5 Reasons Behind a Hoarse Voice

Woman having her tonsils checked

Talking is our primary way of communication and interaction with most people. When you lose your voice or have a hard time speaking, it can be a great inconvenience. That’s why most people take care of their voices and avoid straining their throats if possible.

However, no matter how much care we exercise, sometimes getting a hoarse voice is unavoidable. If you are positive that you are taking care of your voice correctly, it might be a sign of a serious illness. Make sure to visit a voice clinic in Colorado or other nearby areas to be sure.

Not all illnesses are severe, though, and they can be cured with enough rest and the right medicine. Take a look at the various ones that cause voice hoarseness below to identify if it is an emergency or not.


If you catch a cold because of a virus, your voice can get hoarse, especially during the peak period of your cold. This is because your nose and throat become inflamed and fight the infection by producing a lot of mucus.

As your throat becomes more constricted, there’s a chance that it can compress your vocal cords. That will make it hard to speak, as your vocal cords need to vibrate to produce sound. Fortunately, the hoarseness goes away over time, along with the cold.


Allergies can cause your voice to become hoarse. They happen when your body considers a harmless object, such as pollen, dust, or fur, as something harmful to you. This will cause inflammation, depending on where the allergen comes into contact with.

Allergies can be external or internal. External ones cause rashes and hives on the skin and can feel quite itchy, while internal ones can cause inflammation, usually in the nasal and throat region. Similar to colds, your vocal cords become constricted, and your voice becomes hoarse.

Benign Growth

Depending on your daily activities, there’s a chance that a benign growth can appear on your larynx. This can be caused by bad diet, high stress levels, your environment, or sudden physical impact. Though the size may vary, it is noncancerous and will not grow.

If the growth is small and determined as not dangerous, you can leave it alone. However, if it is unusually large, it can cause your voice to become hoarse. In worse cases, it will make swallowing and breathing harder.

Throat Cancer

If you smoke regularly, make sure to get your throat checked if your voice stays hoarse for more than one week. A gruff voice is one of the symptoms of laryngeal cancer. It is a growth of tissues that, unlike benign growths, will grow gradually if left unattended.

A few more symptoms of laryngeal cancer are neck pain, excessive coughing, and ear pain. Urgent symptoms are when you cough up blood or have trouble breathing. If you experience these, make sure to go to a doctor immediately.

Nervous System Disease

Woman sick with bronchitis

Neurologic disorders can cause your voice to become hoarse. When a brain disorder causes the muscles to spasm, the throat muscles can get affected. This will make the muscle more overworked compared to speaking.

There are various types of neurologic disorders. Spasmodic dysphonia is characterized by abnormal muscle movements during speech and can hamper a person’s communication. However, swallowing is not affected by this disorder.

Other diseases, meanwhile, cause permanent damage to the vocal cords. Parkinson’s Disease, for example, causes muscle weakness or slowness. A stroke, depending on the affected part of the brain, can cause muscle control to weaken or become lost entirely.

This isn’t a definite guide for various illnesses, however, as you know your body best. If you feel that there is something seriously wrong with your body, then make sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

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