Voice is the sound made by air passing from your lungs through your larynx, or voice box. In your larynx are your vocal cords, two bands of muscle that vibrate to make sound. For most of us, our voices play a big part in who we are, what we do, and how we communicate. Like fingerprints, each person's voice is unique.
Many things we do can injure our vocal cords. Talking too much, screaming, constantly clearing your throat, or smoking can make you hoarse. They can also lead to problems such as nodules, polyps, and sores on the vocal cords. Other causes of voice disorders include infections, upward movement of stomach acids into the throat, growths due to a virus, cancer, and diseases that paralyze the vocal cords.
- Your throat often feels raw, achy, or strained
- You've lost the ability to hit some high notes when singing
- Signs that your voice isn't healthy include
- Your voice has become hoarse or raspy
- Your voice suddenly sounds deeper
- It's become an effort to talk
Treatment for voice disorders varies depending on the cause. Most voice problems can be successfully treated when diagnosed early.