Why Do You Keep Losing Your Voice?

· April 3, 2017
Are you losing your voice a lot? Keep reading to find out why and how you can treat this common problem.

Do you keep losing your voice but don’t know why? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. There are certain people who are more likely to have this problem, although it’s not always due to physical weakness.

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No matter the cause of losing your voice, the truth is that this complication can hinder your professional performance as well as personal relationships. Therefore, it’s important to know why this phenomenon occurs and how to help treat and prevent it.

Today, we’d like to take a look at just that.

Factors that Contribute to Losing Your Voice

Your Job

There are professions which require you to use your voice a lot. Among those most likely to have vocal problems are:

  • Teachers
  • Interpreters
  • Event planners
  • Singers
  • Telephone operators
  • Waiters
  • And many more!

If one of these is your job, we recommend using natural remedies to help you cope with excessively using your voice.

It’s even a good idea to go to a speech therapist who will teach you techniques for using your voice in a healthier way.

Acoustic Conditions

In urban areas, we’re bombarded with traffic noise the moment we step outside. If we go to a cafeteria or a restaurant, the same thing happens. There could also be loud music that forces people to raise their voices.

In the end, noise pollution causes you to strain your voice so much that there comes a time when you notice how your throat starts to hurt when all you did was have a quiet chat with a friend. This is a very common cause of vocal problems.

Environmental Conditions

Image of smog in Paris on important avenue bird's eye view

Unfortunately, the quality of the air we breathe in cities is getting worse every day. The most obvious example is found in big metropolitan cities, whose pedestrians are forced to wear masks to walk outside.

Moreover, centralized air conditioning can also cause great problems, since it dries up the mucus that protects our airways.

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Reasons You’re Losing Your Voice Often

In addition, there are other significant health factors contributing to you losing your voice frequently. These include:

Tobacco use

Image of skeleton in an x-ray smoking a cigarette

You know about how cigarettes affect the lungs, but did you know that it can cause vocal cord (laryngeal) cancer?

We’re talking about something more complicated than a residual disease. The good news is that this type of cancer isn’t very aggressive, so when it’s detected early it’s usually curable.

When you lose your voice, this aphonia or dysphonia can become an opportunity to find this type of cancer and to get proper treatment for it.

It’s advisable to go to the doctor if the problem is recurrent.

Nodules and polyps

Although these two things are different, they’re both lumps that appear on the vocal cords. This phenomenon is comparable to calluses on your feet caused by using inadequate footwear for a long time.

Hence, when we maintain bad habits for a long time or when work forces us to talk too much, our speech apparatus can get injured. Polyps and nodules are an example of such injuries.

As for their treatment, nodules can go away if you begin practicing new ways of talking or singing. If they don’t go away on their own, then surgery may be necessary.

Polyps, on the other hand, are usually removed surgically.

Acute laryngitis

Woman in pain grasping throat with scarf on

This is the least serious problem. This involves inflammation of the larynx, which goes away on its own or by taking medication. However, there are people who suffer from it very often.

If you suffer from this condition, you should ideally look for alternative therapies that teach you how to optimize the function of your larynx without the organ suffering.

If you’ve lost your voice because of laryngitis, don’t worry too much, but you can do something to improve your condition.

Gastroesophageal reflux

You may have experienced classic heartburn, which is accompanied by an unpleasant taste that tells you that you may have acid reflux. Acid reflux can be quite harmful because it gradually damages the organs it comes into contact with.

The first thing to do to fix this problem is to eat foods that are lighter and easier to digest. This is how you’ll improve the health of your throat while taking care of the discomfort.

Given all this, it’s advisable to ask for a doctor’s opinion. Once your doctor tells you where the problem is coming from, you can act accordingly.

However, it’s also best to look for long-term useful alternatives. When in doubt, some sessions with a speech pathologist wouldn’t hurt. These sessions will help you get your voice back and prevent the problem from occurring in the future.

  • Wilson, J. A., Webb, A., Carding, P. N., Steen, I. N., MacKenzie, K., & Deary, I. J. (2004). The Voice Symptom Scale (VoiSS) and the Vocal Handicap Index (VHI): a comparison of structure and content. Clinical Otolaryngology & Allied Sciences29(2), 169-174.
  • Pribuisiene, R., Uloza, V., Kupcinskas, L., & Jonaitis, L. (2006). Perceptual and acoustic characteristics of voice changes in reflux laryngitis patients. Journal of voice20(1), 128-136.
  • Sataloff, R. T. (1992). The impact of pollution on the voice. Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery106(6), 701-705.