Conditions We Treat: Hoarseness

Hoarseness is a condition in which a person’s voice sounds weak, raspy, or airy. It often accompanies a sore throat and is a common symptom of laryngitis (inflammation of the larynx) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), but can occasionally signal a more serious condition. Children experiencing hoarseness may not want to speak or have difficulty speaking.

Icons of man sick with sore throat and has a hoarse voice

What Are the Causes of Hoarseness?

In addition to laryngitis and acid reflux, other common causes of hoarseness include:

  • Allergies
  • Upper respiratory viruses like colds and flu
  • Drinking caffeinated beverages
  • Excessive coughing, either from illness or following inhalation of toxic substances
  • Straining the vocal cords through shouting, screaming, crying, or singing

Hoarseness may also be caused by vocal cord polyps, an abnormal thyroid gland, or physical injuries to the throat.


What Is the Treatment?

Treating hoarseness depends on the underlying cause, but resting the voice for at least two days is always recommended. For minor cases, increasing fluid intake and avoiding caffeine will help keep the throat hydrated while it heals. If the air is dry, running a humidifier is also a good idea, especially at night. Lozenges, popsicles, hard candies, and numbing sprays may be used if the throat is sore or scratchy.

If you or your child experience hoarseness for ten days or more, or if any of the above symptoms are accompanied by drooling, difficulty breathing, or difficulty swallowing, make an appointment with Dr. Samadi right away.

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