Also known as: hoarse voice, raspy voice
What is hoarseness?
Hoarseness is when your voice becomes raspy, weak or unable to make smooth sounds. It is often accompanied by a scratchy or dry throat.
What might cause hoarseness?
Hoarseness has a number of potential causes, including:
- Voice overuse (screaming, singing or loud talking)
- Acid reflux
- Cigarette smoking
- Drinking caffeine or alcohol
- Excessive coughing
- Throat damage
- Thyroid problems
- Toxin inhalation
- Nerve or muscle conditions
- Lung, throat or thyroid cancer
What are the treatment options?
If the hoarseness is due to voice overuse, cigarette smoking or other self-induced causes, you can relieve symptoms or prevent them in the future by avoiding the offending activity. Make sure to drink plenty of water and rest your voice for a few days. A hot shower, lozenges and chewing gum can also help.
When should you seek medical attention?
If the hoarseness does not resolve after a few days or is severe and accompanied by other symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your physician.
Reviewed by: Sandeep Dave, MD
This page was last updated on: December 09, 2019 04:23 PM