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Causes of hoarseness & its symptoms

The problem is likely to be familiar to almost every professional high-talker: If your voice sounds rough and scratchy after a long day at work, you have overwhelmed it again. In addition to voice overload, a cold, for example, can lead to hoarseness and even complete loss of voice.

Independent of Cause of hoarseness the result usually stays the same: the voice changes, sounds brittle, thick and is usually quieter. With pronounced acute hoarseness, the voice may even fail. With all of these symptoms, you should take care of your voice and avoid speaking loudly.

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The causes of hoarseness are numerous

A hoarse voice doesn't always have to go hand in hand with a cold. People who made have to speak a lot for professional reasons, often have to deal with symptoms such as hoarseness due to the strain, even without an acute cold. The so-called frequent speakers include teachers and educators as well as call center employees and singers. Voice problems with frequent speakers and singers usually have the same cause: The fine secretion film that covers and also protects the pharynx dries up due to excessive use of the voice. The Mucous membrane dries out more and more and reacts irritated. Find out more about the topic here Overuse of the voice and more Causes of hoarseness


Voice overuse is a common cause of hoarseness. In times of home office in particular, people make a lot of phone calls and speaking through a protective mask often requires a higher volume. But even those who laughed and talked a lot during a long phone call with their best friend or loudly cheered on their favorite team during an exciting soccer game will usually receive the receipt by the next day at the latest: the overloading causes our vocal folds to swell, among other things, which for the Forming the voice are responsible. This leads to the sound of spoken tones being distorted.

Vocal cord nodules

This possible cause of hoarseness also bears the name Singers or screams. They arise, for example, as a result of permanent overloading of the vocal folds, but also due to incorrect vocal technique. Anyone with vocal cord nodules should get theirs Protect your voice as much as possible. In addition, voice training is often useful in order to learn better speaking or singing technique and thus relieve the voice. This can support the regression of the nodules and counteract the development of more. In some cases, surgery is needed to remove the nodules.


Furthermore are Voice and psyche closely linked, which is why psychological causes for the hoarseness are also possible. Surely everyone has noticed this before: You are very excited during a conversation, you want to answer in a full and powerful voice and suddenly only a much too high and croaking sound comes out of your mouth. Another example: when we are in a bad mood, it usually affects our voices; it sounds deeper and rough. But what is it Reason for the change in voice? All nerves and muscles in the body react to mental processes. Joy or excitement is noticeable through a certain body tension - the pitch of the voice becomes higher. The opposite happens when you feel down. The entire musculature slackens and with it the voice becomes deeper and more powerless.

External influences

If the Mucous membranes are irritated by external influences, this can also lead to hoarseness and coughing. This applies, for example, to people who are exposed to stimuli such as gases, toxic fumes, fine dust or other pollutants at work. The greater the load, the more likely it is that the mucous membrane will be irritated. Inhaling cigarette smoke also has a similar effect. But it doesn't have to be harmful substances that cause the symptom of hoarseness. Often it is sufficient to stay in rooms with very dry air.


One of the more common causes of hoarseness is acute laryngitis, which is usually viral and occurs in connection with a cold. Here is the Inflamed mucous membrane around the neck and larynxwhich in turn leads to the Vocal folds red and swollen are. The voice is then hoarse, coughing and a sore throat may occur. Chronic laryngitis is also a possible cause of hoarseness. It arises, among other things, from long-term irritation of the mucous membranes, for example from nicotine and alcohol consumption as well as dry or dusty air.

Reflux disease

If you have reflux disease acid gastric juice rises up the esophagus and there leads to the known Heartburn symptom, which is usually characterized by a uncomfortable burning sensation behind the breastbone expresses. However, the acidic stomach contents can also reach the throat and cause a sore throat or larynx there - with hoarseness as a symptom. In addition, those affected can also suffer from coughs or sore throats.

Symptoms of hoarseness: A hoarse voice sounds brittle, rough, and thick

Although there are many possible causes of hoarseness - overuse, illness or environmental stimuli usually have a very similar effect on the voice. The voice is said to be hoarse if it sounds like this:

  • brittle
  • occupied
  • breathing
  • weak
  • scratchy
  • quieter
  • dull
  • rough

Most of those affected not only suffer from hoarseness, but also from others Symptoms such as throat irritation and a scratchy throat. These additional symptoms of hoarseness may also allow conclusions to be drawn about the cause.

Headache and body aches, a feeling of exhaustion and a slight fever all indicate a cold. If, on the other hand, a cough and / or sore throat occur without any other cold symptoms, it could be due to reflux disease. If you feel fit except for your hoarseness, your voice is likely to be overloaded. However, only a visit to the doctor can be sure of a diagnosiswho can then recommend appropriate treatment for hoarseness. Frequent speakers with an overstrained voice can often be done by sucking throat tablets like GeloRevoice® helped, as they moisturize the mucous membrane quickly and sustainably.