ENT Head & Neck Surgery Center

Rm 02, 5/F., Kai Seng Commerical Centre,
4-6 Hankow Road, TST Kln, HK
(near Kowloon Hotel)
Tel: (852) 3100 0555
Fax: (852) 3100 0556

Lawrence Chow / ENT Doctor

Should You Be Concerned When You Suddenly Have a Hoarse Voice?

While you may appreciate a singer who has a hoarse voice, it’s not really good news for you should your voice suddenly turn hoarse. This isn’t a disease in itself, but it’s a symptom of some medical condition.

There are many potential causes for suddenly having a hoarse voice, though thankfully most of them aren’t serious. The hoarseness generally disappears after a while. However, if it lasts for more than 2 weeks, you may want to check in with your ENT doctor. The cause may be a lot more serious usual, and it may even be cancer of the larynx.


Common Treatments

The most typical treatments for hoarseness usually depend on what caused it in the first place. Most of the time, all you really need to do is to rest your voice and to speak without raising your voice. Often you get a hoarse voice when you’ve been screaming for an extended period of time. This can happen when you’re watching a sports event, enjoying a concert, singing out loud with friends, or engaging in a loud argument.

If you’re a smoker, then you really should stop smoking as well. You should avoid secondhand smoke, and you’re supposed to drink plenty of fluids.


Other potential causes of your hoarseness can include the common cold or an infection to your upper respiratory tract. You may be suffering from gastroesophageal reflux, when you end up with irritated vocal chords due to the stomach acid coming up from the swallowing tube. It can also be thyroid problems, allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, neurological disorders, or some sort of trauma to your voice box.


Diagnosing the Problem

When you see your ENT doctor when you have a hoarse voice, your doctor will first try to determine the history of the hoarseness. The doctor will also find about your general health. The doctor can then use a laryngoscope to inspect your voice box and the surrounding tissue. They can also check out your voice quality, as this can provide a clue as to the cause of the hoarseness. If your voice is breathy, it can be due to benign tumor, polyp or larynx cancer causing poor vocal cord function.


A raspy voice can be due to swelling, inflammation from infection, a chemical irritant, voice abuse or paralysis of the vocal chords. If your voice has become high and shaky or too soft, it may be because you’re not breathing in enough air.


Preventive Measures

There are ways you can prevent or reduce the chances of getting a hoarse voice. If it happens to you often, here are measures you can take:

  • Always drink plenty of water.
  • Try to increase the humidity levels in your home.
  • Avoid alcohol and spicy foods.
  • You may want to cut back on caffeine as well.
  • Definitely quit smoking if you’re a smoker.
  • Keep away from smokers too, as you can get a hoarse voice from the secondhand smoke.
  • Avoid screaming or shouting for long periods of time.


As ENT problem is quite different from case to case, it is suggested to consult an ENT Doctor for the appropriate ENT services.




HK ENT Specialist Ltd.

Hong Kong based ENT clinic centre

For ENT Services, Audiology & Speech Therapy,

Sleep Disordered Breathing Management,

Hearing Aid Prescription & Medical Cosmetic Services


註: 本站無論中文繁體,中文簡體和英文內容所提及的疾病和治療方法僅供讀者參考,並不代表本站推薦該種療法,亦不能代替專業醫生診治,讀者如有需要,應該尋求專業醫生意見或聯絡香港耳鼻喉專科。