Why Am I Experiencing Hoarseness?

Are you suffering from a hoarse voice that just won’t go away?

Hoarseness is a condition in which there is a change in the voice. Those suffering from hoarseness will experience changes to the pitch hoarsenessof their voice often characterized by raspiness or an unusual deepness. This is usually the result of irritation or injury to the vocal cords. So, what could be causing your hoarseness and when should you visit our Pittsfield, MA otolaryngologist, Dr. Giulio Cavalli, for treatment?

There are many reasons why you might be experiencing hoarseness. The most common cause is acute laryngitis, which causes vocal cord inflammation. Laryngitis is usually the result of an upper respiratory infection or from overuse (less common).

Other causes of hoarseness include:

  • Allergies
  • Smoking
  • Thyroid problems
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Vocal cord polyps or nodules
  • Being exposed to respiratory irritants
  • Vocal cord trauma
  • Larynx cancer
  • Neurological conditions

When should I visit an otolaryngologist?

If you have symptoms that last for more than three weeks, if you have a cold or flu or if you have difficulty swallowing, these all warrant a trip to our Pittsfield ENT office for care. Other reasons to visit us regarding hoarseness include:

  • If there is blood when you cough
  • If you have pain when swallowing or speaking
  • If hoarseness is affecting your quality of life
  • If you have lost your voice or you are experiencing severe changes to your voice that last several days
  • If you have a lump in the neck

How is hoarseness treated?

The type of treatment that we recommend will depend on the root cause of your symptoms, which is why it’s always a good idea to get a proper diagnosis from our Pittsfield, MA ENT doctor. If a cold or flu is the cause, these illnesses will often clear up on their own with rest and fluids. We will recommend certain lifestyle changes such as drinking lots of water, staying away from smoke, using a humidifier and avoiding spicy foods. Sometimes surgery is necessary if there is a polyp or nodule on the vocal cords that needs to be removed.

If you have been experiencing a hoarse voice for a while now and require treatment then it’s time you called our very own Dr. Cavalli for the care you need.