What is Hoarseness?

March 22nd, 2015 by admin in Throat Clinic, Voice Clinic Comments Off

What is hoarseness? And why does it happen?

Chronic loss of voice or hoarseness interferes significantly with quality of life, occupational efficiency and may be a sign of a serious underlying medical condition.

What is Hoarseness?

As a rule of thumb, if you have had any change or loss of voice, for more than one week, particularly when you don’t have a cold or flu, it’s something that needs investigating. Hoarseness is due essentially to two things, either there is an anatomical problem, that involves either a lesion on your vocal cords, or altered mobility of your vocal cords, or a functional problem. Functional problems happen for a complex variety of reasons, the co-ordinated use your larynx is upsed and there is too much tension in your larynx.

This is analogous to a situation where a professional tennis player squeezes their tennis racquet too tightly and gets not only wrist problems, but also elbow problems and shoulder problems.

The risk factors

Risk factors for cancer in the larynx are smoking, drinking, and family history. The role of Human Papilloma Virus is as yet uncertain. If you have risk factors, that is to say if you smoke or have ever smoked, if you drink heavily, if you’ve had a first order relative with laryngeal cancer, or if you have manifestations of Human Papilloma virus (wart virus) in adulthood, any loss or change of voice for over a week should be taken seriously. You should get in touch with an Ear Nose and Throat surgeon who can assess your larynx using a small telescope.

At Havas ENT clinics, Professor Thomas Havas is acknowledged international experts in the treatment of a variety of voice disorders. We are certain we can help you if this is a problem for you.