You’ve probably noticed that your voice changes when you have sinusitis or a stuffy nose. This is typically due to the blockage in your sinuses. Sinuses act as a resonance chamber for your voice, and are actually and integral part of your system of vocalization—they add timbre and depth to your speech.
Typically, your voice will return to normal once your sinus infection clears. However, there are other otolaryngologic conditions that can impact your voice, such as:
- Post-nasal drip. This can irritate your vocal cord, causing them to stiffen, and changing the timbre of your voice.
- Laryngitis. A viral infection in your throat can cause your vocal cords to swell, which causes these cords to vibrate differently.
- Voice misuse or overuse. Whether you’re yelling for a taxi or just trying to be heard in a crowded restaurant, living in NYC can be hard on your vocal cord. Yelling, singing, or even just a lot of talking can irritate you vocal cords and cause your voice to change.
These problems will typically clear themselves after a few days—especially if you take it easy with the talking. But there are some voice conditions for which you should see your otolaryngologist right away. These include:
- Vocal cord hemorrhage. If you suddenly lose your voice after a bout of yelling, you may have a vocal cord hemorrhage. You need to see you ENT immediately.
- Vocal cord paralysis. If you have trouble getting enough air when breathing or talking, it could be a vocal cord concern. Although it isn’t possible to undo existing vocal cord paralysis, treatment is available.
- Laryngeal cancer. If you are chronically hoarse, please see your otolaryngologist. Laryngeal cancers is extremely treatable with throat cancer surgery in the early stages, and one of the first warning signs is chronic hoarseness.
Your voice is a wonderful and versatile instrument! Help us help you keep it healthy and resonant. If you are concerned you might need throat cancer surgery, you have come to the experts.
- None Found