Hoarse Voice Overview
A hoarse voice is where the voice seems lower in volume or has a rough or raspy sound. Hoarseness can arise from various causes, such as simply over-using your voice (yelling, cheering, choir singing), or a night of excessive smoking and alcohol. On the other hand, hoarseness is a symptom of choking (airway foreign body) and also of a thoracic aortic aneurysm, which is a life-threatening disorder that often has few early symptoms.
Infectious causes of hoarseness include the well-known disease of laryngitis, croup, and various other respiratory infections (e.g. measles, diphtheria, etc.). The larynx may be damaged by recurring reflux or vomiting, such as in GERD, bulimia nervosa or other vomiting disorders.
Various other non-infectious disorders of the larynx and voice cords can cause hoarseness, such as vocal cord polyps, vocal cord paralysis, larynx tumors, etc. Other systemic disease causes include thyroid disease, Sjogren’s Syndrome, or Rheumatoid Arthritis.
There are many causes, including some serious disorders and a few emergency causes (e.g. aneurysm); see your doctor promptly for a full diagnosis or seek emergency care if a life-threatening cause is suspected.
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- Alcoholism: Alcoholism is the abuse of alcohol due to a chronic addiction to alcohol. Drinking a few drinks to cope with
... More on Alcoholism »
- Croup: Croup is an inflammation of the airways, usually caused by a viral infection. The hallmark symptom of croup is a
... More on Croup »
- Measles: Measles is an infectious virus that has become uncommon due to vaccination. Its early symptoms are similar to many other
... More on Measles »
- Diphtheria: Diphtheria is a bacterial respiratory and throat infection that is now uncommon due to vaccination. Diphtheria is a nasty infection
... More on Diphtheria »
- Reflux: Reflux is the regurgitation of stomach contents into the mouth (acid reflux), usually along with a particular type of epigastric
... More on Reflux »
Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.