Voice is one of those things you only notice when it’s gone. When you’re struggling to make yourself heard, you regret those times when you binged on chocolates and sang incessantly at your friends’ party. But it’s not just the food you eat or the constant singing that’s making you lose your voice. Here are other possible culprits:
Everything you breathe in passes right through the voice box. In the case of inhaling smoke (and other air pollutants), this irritates the vocal cords. Tar, for instance, a particular substance in smoke, causes inflammation. Thus, it causes your voice to change.
More than this, if you’re a heavy smoker, you become at risk of other serious voice problems such as laryngeal cancer and Reinke’s edema. If you’ve been experiencing hoarseness in your voice for weeks, go to a Colorado voice clinic to see an ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor). Early detection of health problems is important for treatment.
People usually think of allergies as a runny nose and non-stop sneezing. Allergies can affect your voice in a lot of ways. For one, you’re putting a strain on your throat when you cough from an allergy. Allergic reactions also cause inflammation on the vocal cords. There’s also such a condition called postnasal drip. This is when mucus builds up in the throat as it drips down from the back of the nose. This also irritates the vocal cords.
Sometimes, the medicine you take to clear the allergies can be a culprit, too. Antihistamines, for instance, cause mucus to dry out, leaving vocal cords, which require moisture, vulnerable. This is why it’s best to consult your ENT when dealing with allergies.
There’s not a clear explanation yet as to how non-cancerous growths develop in vocal cords, but some experts believe that it’s due to overusing the voice, specifically when speaking or singing. Some people develop nodules. They usually grow in the middle of the vocal cords. These will disappear easily, though, if you get a full rest for your voice. Some firm lumps or cysts also grow near the surface of the vocal cords. Doctors usually recommend surgery to get rid of them when they interfere with the voice.
Have you been losing your voice lately? Speak up and discuss it with your doctor right away to know exactly the culprit behind it.