Hoarseness of the voice is a complaint that accompanies or results from laryngitis i.e. the inflammation of the larynx. Hoarseness is a general term, which describes abnormal voice changes. When hoarse, the voice may sound breathy, raspy, strained, or there may be changes in volume i.e. loudness also. The pitch can also be different. The changes in sound are usually due to disorders related to the vocal folds which are the sound producing parts of the voice box i.e. larynx. While breathing, the vocal folds remain apart. When speaking or singing, they come together and as air leaves the lungs, they vibrate, and produce sound. The more tightly the vocal folds are held and the smaller the vocal folds, the more rapidly they vibrate. More rapid vibration makes a higher voice pitch. Swelling or lumps on the vocal folds prevent them from coming together properly, which makes a change in the voice as well.
Causes and Symptoms
Hoarseness may be caused by certain infections, taking of hot and cold substances alternately, or any abnormal growth and infection produced by chroojc tuberculosis. In addition to difficulty in articulation, the patient suffers from a coated tongue, pain on swallowing. Sometimes the patients suffer from fever and also are accompanied by a burning sensation in the throat. Constipation tends to aggravate the condition.
Treatment of Hoarseness
Cough suppressants are sometimes used to prevent recurrent irritation of the vocal cords from coughing. Hoarseness that persists for longer than two weeks should be evaluated by doctor as soon as possible.
Powder of Vasti Madhu and Vacha should be given in one-teaspoonful doses thrice a day with honey. Saline gargles or gargles with the decoction of the bark of the acacia tree are recommended as a palliative.
Medicines and Prescriptions
Khadiradi Vati or Eladi Vati should be sucked as lozenges.
Diet and Other Regimen
Spicy foods should be avoided as they cause or worsen acid reflux and hoarseness. Chillies and other condiments should also be avoided. Foods that are heavy or fatty should be avoided. One should also stay away from smoking and drinking alcohol.
Any strain on the voice should be avoided as far as possible at that time. It is advisable not to use voice too long or too loudly and avoid speaking or singing.
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