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Lung diseases

Have developed hoarseness in voice

11/03/2006

Question:

For the last 2 months now I have developed a hoarseness or raspy sounding voice.I dont have a cold or cough I`m not sick.I just have this raspy voice.I am a smoker. Do you have any thoughts on what this might be ? Thank you

Answer:

Hoarseness could be caused by multiple different processes but in a smoker one must consider inflammation or irritation of the vocal cords and structural and neurological processes that might interfere with vocal cord movement and cause hoarseness.  Structural processes such as masses or lesions may interfere with the movement of the vocal cords and cause hoarseness.  Neurological processes may affect the nerves innervating the musculature of the back of the throat and interfering with air movement causing a voice change.

Because of the possibility of cancer, it would be helpful for you to discuss your symptoms with your physician who might suggest an evaluation by an ear, nose, and throat specialist to insure that there are no lesions in the back of the throat that are causing the hoarseness.

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Response by:

Ralph   Panos, MD Ralph Panos, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati