Hoarseness Specialist

Petoskey Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists

Audiology & Otolaryngology located in Petoskey, MI & Gaylord, MI

Hoarseness is a type of voice disorder that can result from overusing your voice, as well as from several underlying health conditions. When your hoarseness persists, it’s time to see the team at Petoskey Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists at their offices in Petoskey or Gaylord, Michigan. They can determine the cause of your hoarseness and recommend the best treatment to restore your voice. Call Petoskey Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.

Hoarseness Q & A

What is hoarseness?

Hoarseness is a symptom that describes changes in the quality of your voice. When you’re hoarse, your voice sounds raspy, strained, or breathy. You may also find that your voice is softer or lower in pitch, and your throat may feel scratchy.

What underlying problems cause hoarseness?

Hoarseness is a sign that something is wrong with the vocal folds in your larynx, which you may know as your voice box. Your vocal folds vibrate to create sound when you speak. They also close when you swallow to ensure food and beverages don’t get into your airway or lungs.

Your voice can become hoarse due to several conditions, including:


Inflamed vocal folds are one of the most common causes of hoarseness. Laryngitis is often caused by a cold, an upper respiratory infection, or allergies.

Overusing your voice

Cheering, speaking loudly, talking too long, and singing are some activities that can lead to hoarseness. Using a voice that’s too high or low also causes the problem.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

When stomach acid comes out of your stomach and up your esophagus, it may cause hoarseness. You’ll also become hoarse when the acid makes it up to your throat, a condition called laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR).

Vocal nodules, polyps, and cysts

These noncancerous growths develop within or along your vocal folds. Nodules are a common problem for professional singers.

Vocal fold hemorrhage

If you experience sudden hoarseness during strenuous vocal cord use such as when yelling, you may have a ruptured blood vessel.

Other causes

Thyroid disorders, injury to your larynx, and laryngeal cancer are all possible causes of hoarseness. Neurological problems such as Parkinson’s disease and stroke may lead to hoarseness due to vocal fold paralysis, while spasmodic dysphonia is a rare neurological disease that makes your voice hoarse and affects breathing.

How is hoarseness treated?

Many patients wonder when they should see a doctor for hoarseness. It’s time to schedule an appointment at Petoskey Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists when:

  • Your hoarseness lasts three weeks or longer
  • You have difficulty swallowing
  • You feel a lump in your neck
  • Speaking or swallowing is painful
  • You lose your voice for more than a few days

Your treatment is based on the underlying cause of your hoarseness. You may need to rest your voice, engage in voice training, treat allergies, or undergo surgery to remove problems like polyps.

To receive expert care for hoarseness, call Petoskey Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists schedule an appointment online today.