What allergies cause hoarseness


Diagnosis & Treatment

It is generally believed that if hoarseness lasts longer than a few weeks or is associated with pain, difficulty swallowing, coughing up of blood, or a lump in the neck, specialist evaluation is imperative.

The diagnosis of the condition which may be resulting in hoarseness is generally accomplished by painless office techniques which permit for visualization of the vocal folds.

Treatment is dependent upon the diagnosis, and in some cases vocal relax or modification of vocal usage is the treatment of choice.

If one smokes, discontinuation of smoking is advised.

What allergies cause hoarseness

Dehydration should be avoided, and adequate amounts of water should be consumed. Humidification, dietary control (avoiding spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol) and the avoidance of abusive vocal behavior (shouting, screaming, singing, and excessive throat clearing) can be extremely effective. In some cases, specific medical or even surgical treatment is necessary.

If you are suffering from hoarseness, we can provide treatment in our Canton, Jasper, or Blue Ridge offices. Request a consultation today.

It may come as a surprise to you the variety of medical conditions that can lead to voice problems.

The most common causes of hoarseness and vocal difficulties are outlined under. If you become hoarse frequently or notice voice change for an extended period of time, please see your Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor) for an evaluation.

Acute Laryngitis

Acute laryngitis is the most common cause of hoarseness and voice loss that starts suddenly.

What allergies cause hoarseness

Most cases of acute laryngitis are caused by a viral infection that leads to swelling of the vocal cords. When the vocal cords swell, they vibrate differently, leading to hoarseness. The best treatment for this condition is to stay well hydrated and to relax or reduce your voice use. Serious injury to the vocal cords can result from strenuous voice use during an episode of acute laryngitis. Since most acute laryngitis is caused by a virus, antibiotics are not effective.

What allergies cause hoarseness

Bacterial infections of the larynx are much rarer and often are associated with difficulty breathing. Any problems breathing during an illness warrants emergency evaluation.

Chronic Laryngitis

Chronic laryngitis is a non-specific term and an underlying cause should be identified. Chronic laryngitis can be caused by acid reflux disease, by exposure to irritating substances such as smoke, and by low grade infections such as yeast infections of the vocal cords in people using inhalers for asthma.

Chemotherapy patients or others whose immune system is not working well can get these infections too.

Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease (LPRD)

Reflux of stomach juice into the throat can cause a variety of symptoms in the esophagus (swallowing tube) as well as in the throat. Hoarseness (chronic or intermittent), swallowing problems, a lump in the throat sensation, or throat pain are common symptoms of stomach acid irritation of the throat. Please be aware that LPRD can happen without any symptoms of candid heartburn and regurgitation that traditionally accompany gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Voice Misuse and Overuse

Speaking is a physical task that requires coordination of breathing with the use of several muscle groups.

It should come as no surprise that, just love in any other physical task, there are efficient and inefficient ways of using your voice. Excessively noisy, prolonged, and/or inefficient voice use can lead to vocal difficulties, just love improper lifting can lead to back injuries. Excessive tensionin the neck and laryngeal muscles, along with poor breathing technique during lecture leads to vocal fatigue, increased vocal effort, and hoarseness. Voice misuse and overuse puts you at risk for developing benign vocal cord lesions (see below) or a vocal cord hemorrhage.

Common situations that are associated with voice misuse:

  1. Using inappropriate pitch (too high or too low) when speaking
  2. Speaking in noisy situations
  3. Excessive cellular phone use
  4. Telephone use with the handset cradled to the shoulder
  5. Not using amplification when publicly speaking

Benign Vocal Cord Lesions

Benign non-cancerous growths on the vocal cords are most often caused by voice misuse or overuse, which causes trauma to the vocal cords.

These lesions (or “bumps”) on the vocal cord(s) alter vocal cord vibration and lead to hoarseness. The most common vocal cord lesions are nodules, polyps, and cysts. Vocal nodules (also known as nodes or singer’s nodes) are similar to “calluses” of the vocal cords. They happen on both vocal cords opposite each other at the point of maximal wear and tear, and are generally treated with voice therapy to eliminate the vocal trauma that is causing them. Contrary to common myth, vocal nodules are highly treatable and intervention leads to improvement in most cases.

Vocal cord polyps and cysts are the other common benign lesions. These are sometimes related to voice misuse or overuse, but can also happen in people who don’t use their voice improperly. These types of problems typically require microsurgical treatment for cure, with voice therapy employed in a combined treatment approach in some cases.

Vocal Cord Hemorrhage

If you experience sudden loss of voice following yelling, shouting, or other strenuous vocal tasks, you may own developed a vocal cord hemorrhage.

Vocal cord hemorrhage results when one of the blood vessels on the surface of the vocal cord ruptures and the soft tissues of the vocal cord fill with blood. It is considered a vocal emergency and is treated with absolute voice relax until the hemorrhage resolves. If you lose your voice after strenuous voice use, see your Otolaryngologist as soon as possible.

Vocal Cord Paralysis and Paresis

Hoarseness and other problems can happen related to problems between the nerves and muscles within the voice box or larynx. The most common neurological condition that affects the larynx is a paralysis or weakness of one or both vocal cords.

Involvement of both vocal cords is rare and is generally manifested by noisy breathing or difficulty getting enough air while breathing or talking. When one vocal cord is paralyzed or feeble, voice is generally the problem rather than breathing. One vocal cord can become paralyzed or weakened (paresis) from a viral infection of the throat, after surgery in the neck or chest, from a tumor or growth along the laryngeal nerves, or for unknown reasons.

What allergies cause hoarseness

Vocal cord paralysis typically presents with a soft and breathy voice. Numerous cases of vocal cord paralysis will recover within several months. In some cases however, the paralysis will be permanent, and may require athletic treatment to improve the voice. Treatment choice depends on the nature of the vocal cord paralysis, the degree of vocal impairment, and the patient’s vocal needs. While we are not capable to make paralyzed vocal cords move again, there are excellent treatment options for improving the voice.

One option includes surgery for unilateral vocal cord paralysis that repositions the vocal cord to improve contact and vibration of the paralyzed vocal cord with the non-paralyzed vocal cord. There are a variety of surgical techniques used to achieve this. Voice therapy may be used before or after surgical treatment of the paralyzed vocal cords, or it can also be used as the sole treatment. (For more information, see Vocal Cord Paralysis Fact Sheet.)

Laryngeal Cancer

Throat cancer is a extremely serious condition requiring immediate medical attention.

Chronic hoarseness warrants evaluation by an otolaryngologist to law out laryngeal cancer. It is significant to remember that immediate attention to changes in the voice facilitate early diagnosis. Remember to hear to your voice because it might be telling you something. Laryngeal cancer is highly curable if diagnosed in its early stages. (For more information, see Laryngeal Cancer Fact Sheet.)

Copyright 2010. American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery

You’re doing everything correct to hold your voice healthy. You don’t overuse it. You hold any acid reflux under control. You do exercises to hold it strong. Despite every that, you still own hoarseness.

What allergies cause hoarseness

What’s causing the problem? As it turns out, it might be allergies.

In the Charlotte area, springtime allergies are often caused by tree pollens, grass pollens, and molds. Symptoms include sneezing, nasal stuffiness, a runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, and coughing.


Can allergies cause me to lose my voice?

Allergies can affect your voice in several ways, and yes, they can even cause you to lose your voice. First, allergens themselves can irritate and enflame the vocal cords, which can cause hoarseness.

Second, the congestion from a stuffed nose or postnasal drip can make it hard to breathe easily. Finally, even your allergy medicines can affect your voice. Antihistamines dry up the mucus in your body. While this helps relieve congestion, it also dries up the layer of mucus that protects your vocal cords. If your vocal cords are dry they can stiffen or inflame, which can make your voice raspy.


How can I protect my voice?

So what can you do to protect your voice from allergens? The first thing is to avoid allergens and hold your home as allergen-free as possible.

Hold your windows closed during peak pollen times. Wash your sheets in boiling water once a week. Vacuum or run an air filter regularly.

If you still need medicine, use medicines that won’t affect your mucus levels.

“There are numerous treatment options for allergies,” CEENTA Otolaryngologist S. Brett Heavner, MD, said. “For professional voice users, topical medications love nasal steroids and nasal antihistamines seem to work better since they own less of a drying effect on the throat and voice.”

Nasal steroid sprays such as Flonase, Rhinocort, and Nasacort are effective in treating allergies.

Some pills, such as Singulair and other leukotrienes, can be taken at night and won’t dry out your vocal cords the way antihistamines would.

Some patients with severe allergies may qualify for immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is a treatment system where patients are given shots, drops, or tablets of the substance they are allergic to in gradually-increasing doses. This helps patients increase their tolerance to those allergens. It won’t cure the allergy, but it will reduce your symptoms.

If you follow these steps you can hold your allergies at bay and assist hold your voice clear and strong.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your physician.Dr. Heavner practices out of CEENTA’s SouthPark and Steele Creek offices. To schedule an appointment with him or any of our ear, nose, and throat doctors, call 704-295-3000.




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What does laryngitis glance like?

The vocal folds own tiny blood vessels that magnify with irritation or infection, producing a bloodshot glance.

They are commonly swollen, with a dull, rough appearance that replaces their typical satin sheen. With a lower-resolution endoscope, love a flexible fiberoptic tool, this may not be apparent, and the folds may simply glance pink in put of their usual white.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Anaphylaxis?

Allergic reactions can cause:

  1. pale skin
  2. hoarseness or trouble speaking
  3. wheezing
  4. nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, or diarrhea
  5. throat tightness or feeling love the throat or airways are closing
  6. a feeling love something bad is about to happen
  7. fast heartbeat or pulse
  8. hives
  9. trouble swallowing
  10. nasal stuffiness or coughing
  11. trouble breathing
  12. skin itching, tingling, redness, or swelling
  13. passing out

Anaphylaxis can cause diverse symptoms at diverse times.

It’s considered anaphylaxis if someone has:

  1. any severe symptoms, such as trouble breathing, repeated vomiting, passing out, or throat tightness
    or
  2. two or more mild symptoms, such as hives and vomiting or coughing and stomach pain

The person needs treatment correct away.

How Is Anaphylaxis Treated?

Someone with anaphylaxis needs assist correct away. The reaction can get worse extremely quickly. So doctors generally desire people with allergies to carry injectable medicine called epinephrine. Epinephrine enters the bloodstream and works quickly against serious allergy symptoms.

Doctors prescribe auto injectors.

These should always be with the person with allergies, including at school, sports, jobs, and other activities. The auto injector is little and simple to use.

If you’re prescribed epinephrine, the doctor will show you how to use it. Always own two auto injectors with you in case one doesn’t work or you need a second dose.

Your doctor also might instruct you to take antihistamines in some cases. But always treat a serious reaction with epinephrine.

Never use antihistamines instead of epinephrine in serious reactions.

What to Do if You Own Anaphylaxis

Give yourself epinephrine correct away if you start to:

  1. Lay below with your legs raised while you wait for the ambulance.
  2. have trouble breathing
  3. feel tightness in your throat
  4. have two or more milder allergic symptoms together (like hives with coughing)
  5. feel faint
  6. Use the epinephrine auto-injector correct away. Then call 911.
  7. Go to the emergency room, even if symptoms improve after epinephrine. You must be under medical supervision for several hours.

    This is because a second wave of serious symptoms (called a biphasic reaction) often happens. You can get more treatment at the emergency room, if you need it.

Don’t attempt to use an inhaler or antihistamine and wait to see what happens. Go straight for the epinephrine!

What allergies cause hoarseness

Seconds count during anaphylaxis.

If you own signs of a serious allergic reaction:

  • Carry two epinephrine auto injectors with you at every times. Epinephrine can be a lifesaver.
  • Lay below with your legs raised while you wait for the ambulance.
  • Go to the emergency room, even if symptoms improve after epinephrine. You must be under medical supervision for several hours. This is because a second wave of serious symptoms (called a biphasic reaction) often happens. You can get more treatment at the emergency room, if you need it.
  • foods
  • Use the epinephrine auto-injector correct away. Then call 911.
  • Avoid the things you are allergic to.
  • insect stings
  • latex
  • medicines
  • Let friends, teachers, and coaches know about your allergies and how they can assist you if you own a reaction.

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What Is Anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction.

Things that can cause allergic reactions are called allergens.

Anaphylaxis (pronounced: an-eh-fil-AK-siss) most often happens during allergic reactions to:

  1. medicines
  2. foods
  3. insect stings
  4. latex

Anaphylaxis can be scary. But being prepared will assist you treat a reaction quickly.

What are the symptoms of laryngitis?

Laryngitis generally produces hoarseness that gets worse with voice use. If the reason for the laryngitis is infectious, then there may also be fever and a sore throat, and perhaps a cough.

What Else Should I Know?

Being prepared can assist you stay safe:

  1. Avoid the things you are allergic to.
  2. Carry two epinephrine auto injectors with you at every times.

    What allergies cause hoarseness

    Epinephrine can be a lifesaver.

  3. Let friends, teachers, and coaches know about your allergies and how they can assist you if you own a reaction.

What is laryngitis?

Laryngitis describes inflammation of the vocal folds, regardless of the cause. As a result, it is what doctors call a non-specific term, or a somewhat generic diagnosis. In the case of hoarseness that comes with a sore throat, cough and a fever, and lasts just a few days, laryngitis is probably an adequate diagnosis, as most such cases are viral in origin and will resolve with relax, hydration and other routine measures.

Under certain circumstances, antibiotics may be appropriate, as sure by your physician.

If the voice change does not resolve as expected along with the other symptoms of a freezing or flu, a cause for the hoarseness must be sure. More than likely, it is not infectious, as the body’s immune system is equipped to react to this helpful of infectious organism. The principal sources of chronic vocal fold irritation are acid reflux, allergies and cigarette smoke (secondhand included). It is also possible that a little irregularity of the vocal cord — love a polyp or a cyst — exists, and may not be noticeable without additional inflammation.

This is sometimes the case in the person who notes that a freezing “always goes to my vocal cords».

“Laryngitis” is sometimes used to explain persistent hoarseness. This is misguided not just because of the probable inaccuracy, but because hoarseness can be an early sign of a more serious problem. If there is a voice change that fails to improve for more than two to three weeks, the vocal folds themselves must be examined by a physician trained to do so. He or she should be capable to give a more specific reason for the change and recommend treatment.

Laryngitis is not the same as hoarseness.

When hoarseness persists beyond two weeks, especially without fever or other signs of illness, simple laryngitis is not an adequate diagnosis.

How is laryngitis treated?

Initial measures to treat laryngitis are largely a matter of common sense — relax the voice and stay well hydrated. In most cases, this will be enough to shake off a viral infection. If there is a cough that produces a yellow or green colored sputum, or a coating in the back of the throat, there may be a bacterial infection that warrants antibiotics.

Laryngitis that develops slowly, without fever, sore throat or other signs of infection, may represent irritation from other sources.

Most cases of laryngitis are treatable with medicine, and laryngitis by itself is not a reason for surgery.

It cannot be stressed enough that “laryngitis” is not an adequate diagnosis for hoarseness that goes on beyond two weeks. In such a case, the vocal cords must be examined to exclude another diagnosis. This is especially true in smokers, who own a high risk of laryngeal cancer.

These vocal folds show signs of an early viral laryngitis, bloodshot in appearance with an excess of mucus.

Before (left) and after (right) treatment views of a case of bacterial laryngitis.

Initially, the vocal folds are swollen, with redness and crusting. Pus is visible at the bottom of the picture. After a course of antibiotics, some inflammation remains, but the infection is largely cleared.

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Back to News

You may also be interested in

Load More

​Are nasal sprays safe?Read More​The 2019 top blog roundupRead More​Why is it hard to study a new language when you’re older?

Can you become bilingual?

Read More

What Is Anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction.

Things that can cause allergic reactions are called allergens.

Anaphylaxis (pronounced: an-eh-fil-AK-siss) most often happens during allergic reactions to:

  1. medicines
  2. foods
  3. insect stings
  4. latex

Anaphylaxis can be scary. But being prepared will assist you treat a reaction quickly.

What are the symptoms of laryngitis?

Laryngitis generally produces hoarseness that gets worse with voice use.

If the reason for the laryngitis is infectious, then there may also be fever and a sore throat, and perhaps a cough.

What Else Should I Know?

Being prepared can assist you stay safe:

  1. Avoid the things you are allergic to.
  2. Carry two epinephrine auto injectors with you at every times. Epinephrine can be a lifesaver.
  3. Let friends, teachers, and coaches know about your allergies and how they can assist you if you own a reaction.

What is laryngitis?

Laryngitis describes inflammation of the vocal folds, regardless of the cause. As a result, it is what doctors call a non-specific term, or a somewhat generic diagnosis.

In the case of hoarseness that comes with a sore throat, cough and a fever, and lasts just a few days, laryngitis is probably an adequate diagnosis, as most such cases are viral in origin and will resolve with relax, hydration and other routine measures. Under certain circumstances, antibiotics may be appropriate, as sure by your physician.

If the voice change does not resolve as expected along with the other symptoms of a freezing or flu, a cause for the hoarseness must be sure. More than likely, it is not infectious, as the body’s immune system is equipped to react to this helpful of infectious organism. The principal sources of chronic vocal fold irritation are acid reflux, allergies and cigarette smoke (secondhand included).

It is also possible that a little irregularity of the vocal cord — love a polyp or a cyst — exists, and may not be noticeable without additional inflammation. This is sometimes the case in the person who notes that a freezing “always goes to my vocal cords».

“Laryngitis” is sometimes used to explain persistent hoarseness. This is misguided not just because of the probable inaccuracy, but because hoarseness can be an early sign of a more serious problem. If there is a voice change that fails to improve for more than two to three weeks, the vocal folds themselves must be examined by a physician trained to do so.

He or she should be capable to give a more specific reason for the change and recommend treatment.

Laryngitis is not the same as hoarseness. When hoarseness persists beyond two weeks, especially without fever or other signs of illness, simple laryngitis is not an adequate diagnosis.

How is laryngitis treated?

Initial measures to treat laryngitis are largely a matter of common sense — relax the voice and stay well hydrated. In most cases, this will be enough to shake off a viral infection. If there is a cough that produces a yellow or green colored sputum, or a coating in the back of the throat, there may be a bacterial infection that warrants antibiotics.

Laryngitis that develops slowly, without fever, sore throat or other signs of infection, may represent irritation from other sources.

Most cases of laryngitis are treatable with medicine, and laryngitis by itself is not a reason for surgery.

It cannot be stressed enough that “laryngitis” is not an adequate diagnosis for hoarseness that goes on beyond two weeks. In such a case, the vocal cords must be examined to exclude another diagnosis. This is especially true in smokers, who own a high risk of laryngeal cancer.

These vocal folds show signs of an early viral laryngitis, bloodshot in appearance with an excess of mucus.

Before (left) and after (right) treatment views of a case of bacterial laryngitis.

Initially, the vocal folds are swollen, with redness and crusting. Pus is visible at the bottom of the picture. After a course of antibiotics, some inflammation remains, but the infection is largely cleared.


What Causes Hoarseness?

Hoarseness may result as a consequence of several diverse disorders. In most cases, the causes are not of serious nature and will be of short duration, generally disappearing without any treatment whatsoever. Certainly the most common cause of hoarseness is acute laryngitis, which occurs generally as a result of a virus infection and may be associated with a freezing or other respiratory tract infection.

Acute laryngitis may also happen as a result of injury, such as excessive vocal use. Prolonged misuse of the voice may result in chronic laryngitis which would be of longer duration. If hoarseness is prolonged and improper vocal habits are persistent, vocal fold nodules or other pathologies may occur.

One of the most prevalent causes of hoarseness, especially in adults, is Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR). In this condition, stomach acid comes up from the stomach through the esophagus and into the throat, irritating the vocal folds and the larynx. Interestingly enough, numerous patients who own significant reflux do not own symptoms of heartburn, but may own a feeling of a lump sensation in the throat or a sense of mucus or postnasal drainage.

Such irritation leads to excessive throat clearing, which prolongs the irritation and the hoarseness.

Of course, everyone knows that smoking is a major cause of hoarseness. It is also a major factor in the development of vocal cord cancer and if prolonged hoarseness occurs in one who smokes, evaluation should be sought.

There are other causes of hoarseness and among them are those associated with advancing age, hormonal changes, allergies, thyroid problems, nerve disorders, and injury. Most hoarseness does not require treatment and in such cases modified vocal relax is sufficient. However, when hoarseness lasts more than a few weeks, it should be evaluated by a throat specialist.

Some hoarseness may be of complicated origin and treatment of the hoarseness may require any one of several professionals, including an otolaryngologist, a lecture pathologist, or a vocal coach.


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