How does a rasping voice sound

Hoarseness and voice disorders

Acute hoarseness usually caused by inflammation of the lining of the larynx and the vocal cords, most often as part of a cold. It subsides after a few days. The hoarseness manifests itself in hoarse croaking of varying strength. In bad cases there is no longer any sound formation at all, the person affected can only whisper voiceless (Aphonia).

Chronic hoarseness on the other hand, has a variety of causes: nodules on the vocal cords, polyps or, in the worst case, a malignant tumor can be behind them. Therefore you should consult a doctor after no more than three weeks of persistent hoarseness. The voice changes not only through obstacles in the area of ​​the larynx and vocal cords, but also through body posture and emotional state. Incorrect breathing also leads to voice problems. Last but not least, external factors (cigarette smoke or dry air) can irritate the vocal cords.

Any type of overuse of the vocal cords can lead to swelling of the mucous membrane in the area that is most stressed, usually in the middle of both vocal cords. Such a swelling, which is still completely recoverable, can develop with further overuse Vocal cord nodules - develop the so-called screaming or singing nodule. They regress if the voice is spared and trained accordingly.

A rare cause of hoarseness is that Vocal cord paralysis (Vocal cord paralysis): After operations in the neck area (e.g. on the thyroid gland), an injury to the nerve that is responsible for the vocal cord function can occur as a complication. The vocal cord is then paralyzed on one side. When speaking, there is a small gap through which air escapes, the voice sounds "breathy". It is not uncommon for the nerve to be squeezed and then "recuperated" by the operation. If the hoarseness is accompanied by increased pain, difficulty swallowing and shortness of breath, this can also be an indication of a tumor.

Symptoms, their causes, measures and self-help

  • Acute hoarseness until voicelessness with signs of a cold; Throat clearing; Irritation of the throat, burning sensation and scratchy throat; possibly fever

    more
  • Acute hoarseness until voicelessness without cold signs; sometimes irritation of the throat; possible sore feeling in the larynx area

    more
  • Acute hoarseness with barking cough in child; Onset mostly in the evening or at night; often shortness of breath, wheezing noises when inhaling; often pre-existing cold; sometimes a slight fever

    more
  • Recurring hoarseness, the V. a. under prolonged vocal strain begins; often tightness or slight pain in the larynx area; sometimes forced throat clearing, dry cough, mucus

    more
  • Constant hoarseness; constant feeling of foreign bodies, urge to cough, throat clearing; sometimes lowering of the pitch; seldom shortness of breath

    more
  • Persistent hoarseness after acute laryngitis; Throat clearing; Feeling of pressure

    more
  • Hoarse or strange voice sound (rough, wobbly, or twofold); sometimes the pitch of the voice rises or falls

    more
  • Hoarse, haunted, powerless voice; speaking out loud not possible; often weak muscles, drooping shoulders

    more
  • Powerless, often hoarse too Voice with frequent choking and / or shortness of breath; sometimes slurred speech, choppy speech, or nasalism

    more
  • Persistent Hoarseness with difficulty swallowing, Foreign body sensation and / or coughing up blood

    more

Acute hoarseness until voicelessness with signs of a cold; Throat clearing; Irritation of the throat, burning sensation and itching in the throat; possibly fever

Root cause:

Measure:

  • On the same day to the house doctor or ENT doctor in the event of a high fever or increasing tightness

Self help:

  • Vocal calm
  • Warm neck wrap
  • Inhalation with sage tea or saline solution
  • Smoke-free, humidified room air at a temperature of 18–20 ° C

Acute hoarseness until voicelessness without cold signs; sometimes irritation of the throat; possible sore feeling in the larynx area

Causes:

  • Acute voice overload, e.g. B. at a loud party
  • Unusually dry room climate
  • Acute exposure to smoke, dust or irritating vapors (e.g. chlorine)
  • External injury, e.g. B. by bruising, choking
  • Psychological cause, e.g. B dissociative disorder

Measure:

  • Immediately to the house doctor or ENT doctor in case of increasing tightness or possible injury

Self help:

  • Vocal calm
  • Smoke-free, humidified room air at a temperature of 18–20 ° C

Acute hoarseness with barking cough in child; Usually begins in the evening or at night; often shortness of breath, wheezing noises when inhaling; often pre-existing cold; sometimes a slight fever

Root cause:

Measure:

  • Call an emergency doctor or drive to the children's clinic in the event of severe shortness of breath or lack of improvement through initial measures
  • The next day to the pediatrician after an attack

Initial measures:

  • Pick up the child, calm down
  • Fresh air
  • "Krupper-experienced" parents: give a suppository or spray prescribed by the doctor

Recurring hoarseness, the V. a. under prolonged vocal strain begins; often tightness or slight pain in the larynx area; sometimes forced throat clearing, dry cough, mucus

Root cause:

Functional voice disorder (functional dysphonia), e.g. B. by

  • Frequent voice overload or improper strain, e.g. B. in noise work, speaking professions (teachers), singers
  • Hearing loss or deafness

Measure:

  • In the next few weeks to the family doctor or ENT doctor

Self help:

  • Talk as little as possible
  • Smoke-free, humidified room air from 15–20 ° C
  • Switch off ambient noise as far as possible

Constant hoarseness; constant feeling of foreign bodies, urge to cough, throat clearing; sometimes lowering of the pitch; seldom shortness of breath

Root cause:

Chronic laryngitis, e.g. B. by

  • Smoking, exposure to dust or irritant gases, dry room climate, strong temperature fluctuations
  • Chronic voice overload or improper voice strain
  • Mouth breathing, e.g. B. with chronic runny nose, chronic sinusitis
  • Alcohol addiction
  • Side effect of medication, e.g. B. antihistamines or antidepressants
  • Vocal cord nodules (screaming or singing nodules), if the voice is overloaded or improperly strained (e.g. singers, teachers, "loud" children)

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the house doctor or ENT doctor if the symptoms persist for more than three weeks

Self help:

  • Talk as little as possible
  • Smoke-free, humidified room air from 15–20 ° C
  • Switch off ambient noise as far as possible
  • For chronic laryngitis, climatic treatments (North Sea, high mountains)

Persistent hoarseness after acute laryngitis; Throat clearing; Feeling of pressure

Root cause:

  • Vocal fold polyps, usually when the vocal restraint is not maintained, possibly in connection with smoking

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the ENT doctor if the symptoms persist for more than three weeks

Hoarse or strange voice sound (rough, wobbly, or twofold); sometimes the pitch of the voice rises or falls

Causes:

  • Normal hormonal changes e.g. B. pregnancy, menstrual bleeding or menopause
  • Hormonal disorders, e.g. B. Hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, acromegaly (hormonal enlargement of the acra such as hands, feet, ears)
  • Drugs with hormonal effects, e.g. B. "Pill", hormone replacement therapy in menopause, anabolic steroids (e.g. as a muscle building agent)

Measure:

  • In the next few weeks to the family doctor or ENT doctor, if there is no clear connection with normal hormonal changes or medication

Self help:

  • When taking the "pill", think about alternative contraception

Hoarse, haunted, powerless voice; speaking out loud not possible; often weak muscles, drooping shoulders

Causes:

Measure:

  • In the next few weeks to the house doctor or ENT doctor if the symptoms recur or worsen

Powerless, often hoarse too Voice with frequent choking and / or shortness of breath; sometimes slurred speech, choppy speech, or nasalism

Root cause:

Vocal cord paralysis, e.g. B. by

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the house doctor or ENT doctor

Persistent Hoarseness with difficulty swallowing, Foreign body sensation and / or coughing up blood

Root cause:

  • Larynx cancer, usually after decades of cigarette and alcohol consumption

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the house doctor or ENT doctor

Your pharmacy recommends

Neck wrap.

If the hoarseness is caused by an acute laryngitis, a warm neck wrap will help. Its warmth has a pain-relieving effect and reflexively promotes blood flow to the larynx mucosa. It is very easy to use: you put a cotton cloth soaked in lukewarm water around your neck, wrap it with a woolen scarf and leave it there for about half an hour. Warm potato or onion wraps are also suitable for treating laryngitis. If the warmth of the wrap feels uncomfortable on the neck, the treatment should be discontinued.

Note:

If there is severe swelling in the neck, warm neck wraps are not recommended: they can increase the swelling further.

Inhale

moisturizes the mucous membrane and soothes irritated vocal cords. In contrast to gargle solutions, which mainly work in the oral cavity and throat, the fine droplets also reach the vocal cords and the deeper airways when inhaled. Steam is sufficient to moisten the mucous membranes. If you want, you can still use additives: Salt should intensify the moistening and essential oils (e.g. chamomile, sage and thyme) have a slightly disinfectant and anti-inflammatory effect.

The best way to inhale is to hold your head over a saucepan with hot water and cover with a towel. The head must come as close as possible to the surface of the water - ideally so far that it can just be endured. To moisten the mucous membrane and vocal cords, the patient breathes in and out through the mouth. The eyes remain closed - they are only irritated by steam and additives.

As an alternative method, steam inhalers with a mouth-nose attachment from the pharmacy are available. They have the advantage that the steam has a more targeted effect, the dosage of additives is more precise and there is hardly any risk of scalding.

Note:

Essential oils are not suitable for infants or children or for asthma patients. In both cases there is a risk of shortness of breath as a side effect.

Complementary medicine.

Icelandic moss or marshmallow root is recommended in naturopathy for hoarseness caused by a cold: their plant-based mucilage soothes the inflamed mucous membrane. Thyme and sage are also suitable for sore throats because of their disinfecting, anti-inflammatory and expectorant effects. The herbal preparations are available as ready-made products (e.g. lozenges) or are drunk as tea in sips.

Change medication.

It is not uncommon for hoarseness to appear as a side effect of a drug. That plays z. B. with antidepressants, cytostatics or drugs with hormonal effects such as "the pill" a role. But certain antibiotics and antiallergic drugs also change the voice because they dry out the mucous membranes. In the case of hoarseness and voice disorders in connection with taking medication, it is advisable to change the medication accordingly in consultation with the attending physician.

Environment and indoor air.

Regardless of the cause of hoarseness, it helps to protect the voice: the vocal cords have time to recover. A quiet environment supports the vocal calm. In addition, it is important to ensure that the air in the room is sufficiently humid, as dry air irritates the vocal cords. Moisturized, smoke-free room air at a temperature of around 18 ° C is ideal for voice regeneration.

The ideal indoor humidity is between 50 and 60%. Suitable measuring devices, so-called hygrometers, are available at low prices in stores. Digital hygrometers are best suited because the previously common hair hygrometers have to be calibrated, which is not possible without additional devices. If the humidity is too low, humidifiers with water deposits or the tried and tested damp towels over the heater are recommended. But be careful: if the humidity rises above 65%, there is a risk of mold forming in corners and behind cupboards and shelves, even in "normal" interiors.

Authors

Dr. med. Arne Schäffler; Dr. med. Brigitte Strasser-Vogel; Section "Your pharmacy recommends": Dr. med. Arne Schäffler; Miriam Knauer | last changed on at 12:55


Important note: This article has been written according to scientific standards and has been checked by medical professionals. The information communicated in this article can in no way replace professional advice in your pharmacy. The content cannot and must not be used to make independent diagnoses or to start therapy.