THROAT - Hoarseness

What is hoarseness of voice?

It is a breathy and harsh voice resulting due to an abnormality in the larynx.

What are the causes of hoarseness of voice?

I. Congenital:

  • Laryngeal web
  • Laryngeal cysts

II. Acquired: Neoplastic:


  • Pharyngeal diverticula: Over flow of contents into larynx causes chronic irritation of the larynx and laryngitis
  • Juvenile Laryngeal Papillomatosis
  • Haemangioma
  • Cysts of vocal cords


  • Bronchial carcinoma: The malignancy commonly involves the mediastinum and obstructs the superior vena cava causing recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy.
  • Carcinoma of vocal cords and larynx
  • Thyroid carcinoma
  • Oesophageal malignancies involving the recurrent laryngeal nerve

III. Inflammatory:

  • Acute laryngitis
  • Chronic laryngitis
  • Atrophic laryngitis: It is a rare condition characterized by atrophic changes in the respiratory mucosa with mucous producing glands
  • Tuberculosis
  • Singers nodules
  • Diphtheria
  • Leprosy

IV. Traumatic:

  • Intubation trauma
  • Inhalation of foreign body
  • Accidents
  • Strangulation

V. Miscellaneous:

  • Vocal cord palsy
  • Laryngeal oedema
  • Gout
  • Laryngocoele
  • Functional aphonia
  • Reflux oesophagitis

What investigations are required for diagnosing the cause of hoarseness of voice?

  • Blood: Routine blood investigations
  • Test for diabetes, syphilis (VDRL)
  • Thyroid function tests
  • Indirect laryngoscopy in OPD
  • Direct laryngoscopy to confirm findings
  • Fibre-optic laryngoscopy helps to check the larynx closely
  • Panendoscopy
  • CT Scan may be useful in cases of malignancy
  • Allergy Test
  • Voice analysis by a Voice therapist gives a perfect picture of the voice quality

What is the treatment for hoarseness of voice?

  • History: To know of any trauma and progress of the hoarseness
  • ENT examination to know the cause of the hoarseness

Medical line of treatment:

  • Voice rest
  • Steam inhalation
  • Antibiotics to control infection
  • Anti inflammatory medicines
  • Low dose steroids in tapering dose.
  • Vocal Hygiene
  • Voice Therapy

If there is improvement within 1 week:

  • Voice Hygiene
  • Voice Therapy

If there is no improvement for 2 weeks: Microlaryngoscopy with laser surgery.

Bombay Hospital and Medical Research Center
201, 2nd Floor, New Wing 12,
New Marine Lines
Mumbai - 400020
Contact Mob No: 07715050774

Juvekars Nursing Home
17/18, Shivsagar CHS
Opposite Akbarallys,
Off Sion Trombay Road
Chembur East, Mumbai -71
Tel: 022 25271140,
022 25271150

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