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How do you treat a hoarse voice?

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Quick Answer

Treatments for hoarseness vary by cause, but rest and medication are the two most frequent remedies. For people who smoke, quitting is another recommendation that physicians offer, particularly given the other health benefits that quitting brings, as stated by MedicineNet.com.

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Full Answer

A hoarse voice generally has a harsh, raspy tone to it, although hoarseness also can contribute to changes in volume or pitch. A doctor asks the patient questions about the onset of hoarseness as well as any other symptoms. The physical examination centers around the neck and head, although in some cases, the doctor inserts a long, lighted fiber-optic scope into the throat to take a look at the vocal cords if no external cause becomes obvious, according to MedicineNet.com.

If acute laryngitis is the diagnosis, rest is the most frequent treatment, as the underlying upper respiratory tract infection gradually clears out of the body. Using cough suppressants and sleeping with a humidifier are two other ways to address the hoarseness. If the cause is misuse or overuse of the voice, then rest is also the primary treatment. If allergies or gastroesophageal reflux is the cause, medications are available to treat both of those. If the larynx shows cancer, benign polyps, nodules or trauma, surgery may be required, notes MedicineNet.com.

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