Hoarseness: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The Aphonia is the impossibility of emitting sound when trying to speak; that is to say, it is the loss of the voice. This condition can be partial or total; that is, in some cases, the person with Aphonia can emit some sound accompanied by Hoarseness, and in other cases, it can be so difficult for the person to speak that the loss of the voice only allows them to emit some whispers. In turn, Aphonia can occur quickly or gradually, and most of the time, this depends directly on its cause.

This condition is related to the function of the larynx, which is why it can be accompanied by an intense sore throat and throat clearing. Many factors affect its appearance and range from diseases in the larynx to psychological problems. We invite you to continue reading this FastlyHealarticle, where we will address the causes and treatment of Aphonia.

Aphonia or dysphonia?

People often confuse these two terms with the loss of voice, and the truth is that although both are considered vocal disorders, they are two different things, so it is essential to learn to differentiate them. As we mentioned earlier, Aphonia is the partial or total loss of voice; it is impossible for the person to speak or can only make certain sounds.

Instead, dysphonia is what we know as Hoarseness, that is, an alteration in the sound of the voice without it altogether ceasing to exist. Most people have experienced dysphonia at least once after loudly yelling at a concert or talking for a long time. However, announcers, teachers, singers, and any professional who works with the voice are more likely to suffer from this condition. This condition appears due to an overload of the vocal cords, but unlike Aphonia, it usually improves and even disappears as the days go by. However, an important detail must be considered: Aphonia can begin with dysphonia, while dysphonia in most cases does not become Aphonia.

How to recognize Aphonia?

The main symptom of Aphonia is the total loss of voice. When the Aphonia is gradual, the agent may begin with Hoarseness and then lose its intensity until it is no longer heard or sound like a whisper. Hoarseness can be accompanied by other symptoms, depending on its cause.

Causes of Aphonia

The total loss of voice can occur due to many factors that usually affect mainly the larynx and later triggers an inability to make sounds or speak. The most common causes of Aphonia are:

  • Diseases in the respiratory system, such as laryngitistonsillitis, bronchitis, persistent cough, nodules, or tumors, can cause Aphonia.
  • Misusing your voice can also cause your total loss. Some examples of mistreating the voice are yelling, projecting the voice inappropriately, or singing too loudly.
  • Aphonia often appears after using toxic and harmful elements such as tobacco, which is why smokers are at greater risk of Aphonia. Alcoholic beverages, pepper, vinegar, and chemicals like chlorine can irritate the larynx and trigger temporary Aphonia.
  • People with psychological problems such as fits of anger or hysteria can suffer from Aphonia due to excessive use of the voice to project screams, anger, and bad mood.
  • Surgeries or conditions of the larynx are related to the appearance of Aphonia. Therefore, laryngitis, cancer of the larynx, or nodules in the larynx can lead to total loss of voice.
  • Nerve damage can affect the function of the larynx.
  • Thickening of the vocal cords.
  • Thyroid or laryngeal cancer.
  • Neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
  • Reflux, heartburn, or stomach problems.
  • The weather and cold drinks can trigger temporary Hoarseness.
  • Hoarseness can also signify goiter, inflammation of the epiglottis, paralysis of the vocal cords, and chronic diseases that weaken muscle tone and make it impossible to speak.
  • Dry air from heating or air conditioners can affect the larynx and cause long-term Hoarseness.
  • Allergies, such as being allergic to pollen.

Treatment of Aphonia

The treatment of Aphonia will consist of treating the cause that originates it to reverse or repair the loss of voice. Often, when the Aphonia is gradual, it is easier to diagnose what it is and thus treat the person in time to avoid losing their voice altogether. A doctor should examine Hoarseness when it lasts for more than a week without any improvement to medicines or home remedies and when it is not associated with the current presence of any disease in the respiratory system.

The medical specialist, usually an otolaryngologist, will examine the larynx and vocal cords and examine accompanying symptoms to determine their possible cause. Your doctor will likely order tests to complete the diagnosis, such as CT scans, ENT, endoscopy, and video stroboscopy.

The treatment of Hoarseness may suggest :

  • When the cause is an abuse of the vocal cords, the person can be asked to completely rest the voice for the amount of time considered necessary.
  • When the origin of the Aphonia is an infection, antibiotics, local anti-inflammatories, and the rest of the agent can be prescribed.
  • When Aphonia is related to cysts, tumors, and nodules, surgery is possible and, depending on the severity of the case, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
  • When Aphonia is due to polyps in the vocal cords, it is necessary to remove these masses through surgery.
  • Staying hydrated, avoiding smoking, taking pain relievers, and using a cool-mist humidifier can help treat Aphonia.

When to go to the doctor for Aphonia

Although it can be temporary, Hoarseness can also be accompanied by specific symptoms that a health specialist should examine. Go to the doctor whenever:

  • The Aphonia does not present any improvement after a week.
  • The loss of voice is total.
  • The lymph nodes in the neck are swollen.
  • Cough and difficulty swallowing.
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Weight loss for no apparent reason.

Go to the emergency room immediately if you present:

  • Sudden loss of speech
  • Loss of ability to speak correctly or difficulty pronouncing words properly, as this may be a sign of a stroke.
  • He has Aphonia and trouble breathing.

Home remedy for Aphonia

While the condition is entirely relieved, it can be helpful to use a home remedy that allows you to ease irritation in the throat and recover your voice more quickly. For this reason, here at FastlyHealwe share this home remedy for Aphonia based on honey, onion, aloe vera, and ginger. The mixture of these ingredients will offer a potent natural anti-inflammatory effect that will promote relief.


  • One medium red onion.
  • One glass cup of aloe vera
  • Fifteen grams or a tablespoon of ground ginger.
  • Two tablespoons of honey.

Peel the red onion, and chop it into medium pieces. Then, process the onion with all the ingredients in the blender and store the syrup in a glass container. Take a tablespoon of this natural remedy for Hoarseness twice a day.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Aphonia: causes and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Ear, Nose and Throat category .

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