If your voice is getting hoarse, raspy and becomes a different pitch, it can be a symptom of a severe disorder. Fuat Güder, a doctor at Medient Medical Center, touched upon the potential seriousness of the matter and explained what precautions should be taken for protection and treatment should such a condition develop.
Voice comes from vocal cords that are located within the larynx. Although vocal cords are slightly apart, they touch each other when one speaks or sings. The vocal cords vibrate through the flow of air being expelled from the lungs, producing different sounds. The tongue, lips, palate and teeth located above vocal cords assist in the formation of words. A problem in the vibration of vocal cords can lead to hoarseness.
According to Güder, the causes of hoarseness may be:
Acute laryngitis (viral or bacterial inflammation of vocal folds)
Straining of the vocal cords (talking in loud places, delivering a speech without a microphone, etc.)
Benign vocal cord nodules, polyps or cysts
Bleeding in the vocal cords
Gastro-esophageal reflux (GERD)
Neurological conditions (such as Parkinson's disease and strokes)
Cancer of the larynx Güder advised that if hoarseness continues for a lengthy period of time, one is recommended to see an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist.
The specialist will be able to diagnose the cause of your hoarseness through a laryngoscopy.
Have you ever heard about vocal cord paralysis?
While relatively unknown, paralysis may possibly occur in the vocal cords. Nerves supplying vocal cords start in the brain and pass through the neck and chest. Damage to those nerves can be related to the cause of paralysis. The diagnosis of vocal cord paralysis is made with endoscopic examination by an ENT specialist. Once the cause is identified, different treatments can be prescribed, including speech therapy and surgical operations to bring the paralyzed vocal cord closer to an unaffected cord to improve the quality of the voice.
Solution: Speech Therapy
Speech therapy is considered the first line in treatment for vocal cord paralysis and chronic hoarseness. It improves the voice by teaching the patient how to use vocal cords and helps patients to get their original voices back. Speech therapy lasts four to eight weeks, with one or two sessions per week. Sometimes one session alone can be enough for some patients to get their original voices back. Factors that should be considered as they may affect treatment including the ability of the patient to adapt, the stage of the disease, and the occupation of the patient.