In most cases, a strained voice can be healed in three to five days with plenty of rest, fluids, and refraining from using the voice as much as possible according to the Mayo Clinic. If there’s no identifiable cause for the hoarse throat, or if the symptoms last for two or more weeks, it is important to see a doctor. The hoarseness may be the result of a more serious medical condition requires identification and necessary treatment.
The larynx, or voice box, is the mechanism that allows a person to create vocal sounds. It is built of cartilage, muscle and mucus membranes. Located at the top of the windpipe, the voice box is able to create sound by passing air over the vocal cords. When the voice box becomes irritated and swollen, commonly referred to as laryngitis, the vocal cords are unable to vibrate normally. This obstruction causes the voice starts to sound hoarse and distorted.
When this hoarseness is caused by more than just simple strain, additional treatment is usually required. For a viral infection, drinking fluids, using a humidifier to moisten the air, cough drops and over-the-counter medication are all recommended. For a bacterial infection, antibiotics may also be necessary.
Laryngitis can also be caused by smoking, allergies, bronchitis, inhaling chemicals, acid reflux or any number of other irritating influences on the voice box. This is why it is important to have the source of the hoarseness properly diagnosed. This will allow professional treatment to be administered as soon as possible, restoring the ill back to health.