What To Do if You Have Lost Your Voice

The disappearance of the voice is most often associated with colds. However, there are other reasons that you may lose your voice — and some can be quite serious.

Dr. Irene

pediatrician, otolaryngologist, phoniatrician

6 main reasons

The main organ, with pathological processes in which voice disorders are connected, is the larynx. The quality of the voice depends on the condition of two small formations called the vocal folds. A clear sound occurs when the edges of the folds are fully closed. The voice can be affected by limited mobility, edge irregularities, swelling of the ligaments, hemorrhages in the ligaments, and neoplasms.

  • Laryngitis is one of the most common causes of voice loss. It can be caused by acute respiratory infections, acute respiratory viral infections, influenza, sore throat, and other infectious diseases. The inflammatory process in the larynx causes the ligaments to swell. They become less flexible and elastic and stop closing. To get your voice back to normal, the underlying disease must be treated. The condition usually improves within a few days.

  • Serious vocal strain can also deprive you of the ability to speak. If this is the case, the person usually notices the absence or hoarseness of the voice the next morning. Most often, the voice returns on its own, but in some cases, the help of a phoniatrician is required.

  • Endocrine system disorders ===can lead to a loss of voice. For example, a decrease in the function of the thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) causes the voice folds to swell. In addition, hoarseness and lack of voice control are frequent signs of adolescent mutation. These disorders are temporary and are related to the rapid growth of the larynx and the transition from a child's to an adult's mechanism of sound production. An endocrinologist can help diagnose the underlying disease so that you eventually get your voice back.

  • Psychogenic aphonia (absence of voice) may occur as a result of stress or overwork. This is the body signaling about psychophysical exhaustion and the need for rest. Treatment, in this case, is chosen strictly on an individual basis, combining psychotherapy and medication therapy.

  • Dry indoor air can provoke voice issues, especially if you spend a significant amount of time inside each day. No treatment would be necessary, but you would need to buy an air humidifier and control the humidity in your apartment or house.

  • Laryngeal neoplasms lead to a gradual loss of vocal function, so if your voice goes quiet for several weeks and gets worse over time, you should urgently contact your doctor, who will most likely appoint a laryngoscopy for an accurate diagnosis.

What should you do if you lose your voice?

If the problem does not disappear within a few days, you should contact a specialist. Until then, the main task is to avoid making the condition worse.

The following should be avoided until you see your doctor:

  • Whispering: after all, if the vocal folds are touching when you talk, they rub against each other when you whisper, which can lead to increased swelling of the vocal folds.
  • Talking on the phone: when we talk on the phone, we often try to protect the ear of the person we are talking to by redistributing the load on the vocal apparatus in such a way that the vocal folds are overstretched.
  • Eating food that is too hot, too cold, or too spicy.
  • Smoking.
  • Drinking alcohol.

31 March 2022

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