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This page was last updated at 10:42AM on June 10, 2014

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Hoarseness

Hoarseness can be described as abnormal voice changes that make your voice sound raspy and strained and higher or lower or louder or quieter than normal.
These changes are usually the result of disorders of the vocal cords which are the sound-producing parts of the voice box (larynx).
 
The most common cause of hoarseness is laryngitis (inflammation of the vocal cords) which is usually associated with a viral infection but can also be the result of irritation caused by overuse of your voice e.g. excessive singing, cheering, loud talking.
 
Other causes of hoarseness include:
  • nodules on the vocal cords – these may develop after using your voice too much or too loudly over a long period of time
  • smoking
  • gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – stomach acid comes back up the oesophagus and irritates the vocal cords. This is a common cause of hoarseness in older people
  • allergies
  • polyps on the vocal cords
  • glandular problems
  • tumours.
 
Diagnostic tests may include viewing the vocal cords with a mirror at the back of your throat or by inserting a small flexible tube with a camera on the end (endoscope) through your mouth. Sometimes tests may be done to analyse the sounds of your voice.
 
Treatment depends on the cause of the hoarseness and may include resting your voice or changing how it is used, avoiding smoking, medication to slow stomach acid production and sometimes surgical removal of nodules or polyps.

Location Information

Contact Details

Phone (09) 367 0000

Patient enquiries:  (09) 375 4300

Known extension/pager:  (09) 307 4949

Admission & Planning Unit:  Ext 24210 / 23225 | Fax: (09) 375 7038

Acute Referrals Service:  (09) 375 7030, Ext: 24048 |Fax: (09) 307 2858

Outpatient appointments & surgical booking enquiries: (09) 638 0400

Mental Health Services

24 Hour Crisis Line:  0800 800717

GP / External Specialist Help Desk: (09) 307 2800

Street Address

2 Park Road
Grafton
Auckland 1023

Postal Address

Private Bag 92 024
Auckland Mail Centre
Auckland 1142

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