A hoarse voice can have several causes. A detailed history will be taken to determine the cause.
Symptoms and questions you may be asked:
- How long has your voice been bad?
- Does it get better or worse throughout the day?
- Do you have a cough?
- Does it hurt to swallow or talk?
- Do you talk a lot, yell or sing?
- Do you have allergies?
- Do you have heartburn?
- Do you smoke?
- Is your voice raspy or give out mid-sentence?
Your doctor may look at your voice box with a scope to see it in action. This is a procedure that is done in the office.
Findings could be:
- Inflammation from nasal drainage or heartburn.
- Vocal cord nodules- calluses on the vocal cord.
- A weak vocal cord.
- Spasm of the vocal muscles.
- Vocal cord polyps.
- Swelling from smoking.
Depending on the findings, treatments vary. Usually a hoarse or scratchy voice is more of an annoyance, but it could be symptoms of a bigger issue. So it is best to have it fully evaluated if it continues.