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Hoarseness Specialist

Lake Grove ENT

Board Certified Otolaryngologist & Otolaryngologic Allergy located in Lake Oswego, OR

If your voice is raspy when you speak, it could be a sign of an underlying medical problem. At Lake Grove ENT in Lake Oswego, Oregon, board-certified otolaryngologists can find the root cause of hoarseness and treat it to reduce discomfort and help you gain confidence in the sound of your voice. Call the office for an appointment today or use the online scheduler.

Hoarseness Q & A

What is hoarseness?

Hoarseness is an abnormal change in the sound or feeling of your voice. It often results from inflammation of your vocal cords. Common symptoms of hoarseness include a voice that sounds:

  • Weak
  • Raspy sounding
  • Scratchy 
  • Husky
  • Different than usual

With hoarseness, you might notice a change in the pitch or volume of your voice. You may experience a complete loss of your voice in some cases.

A variety of factors can cause hoarseness. See the Lake Grove ENT team if hoarseness bothers you or doesn’t go away on its own.

What are the causes of hoarseness?

Your vocal cord folds remain apart when you breathe. When you speak, however, vocal cord folds come together and vibrate to produce sound. Certain factors affect the way your vocal cords vibrate and can change the way your voice sounds. Examples include:

  • Swelling
  • Irritation
  • Colds 
  • Flu
  • Sinus infections
  • Laryngitis
  • Misusing your voice
  • Yelling
  • Vocal cord strain
  • Vocal cord lesions
  • Vocal hemorrhage
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Other possible causes of hoarseness include thyroid conditions, smoking, allergies, vocal cord injuries, tumors, and neurological conditions. Using your voice a lot when you have laryngitis can cause serious vocal cord damage.

How does my doctor diagnose hoarseness?

To diagnose hoarseness and its cause, the Lake Grove ENT team discusses your medical history and symptoms. They examine your throat, complete a physical exam, and listen to your voice. Your ENT specialist might recommend undergoing in-office CT scans.

What are common treatments for hoarseness?

Ways to reduce your risk of hoarseness include:

Lifestyle changes

Resting your voice is the best way to treat hoarseness in many cases, especially if you have acute laryngitis. Make sure to drink plenty of liquids. Use a humidifier to keep the air in your home moist.

To reduce your risk of hoarseness, avoid straining your vocal cords. Use appropriate voice volume and pitch and avoid shouting or yelling when possible.

Limit or avoid caffeine and alcohol, don’t smoke, and eliminate spicy foods from your diet. Maintain a healthy weight to lower your risk of developing GERD.

Surgery

In some cases, you may be a good candidate for surgical treatment to eliminate the underlying cause of hoarseness. 

If severe or long-lasting hoarseness negatively affects your life, turn to Lake Grove ENT for top-quality care. Schedule an appointment by phone or book online today for relief.