Sounds are produced by the vocal cords which is altered and modulated by upper airway and tongue. Voice is an evolutionally by product of common area for food and breathing.

What to do when there is voice change?

If it’s just 1 day, take voice rest, drink water. See if it resolves in 1-2 days if not show a doctor preferably ENT

If not resolving after a course of medicines, show to ENT do Endoscopy. Endoscopy is done to see the vocal cords and its movement. Endoscopy to see vocal cords can be done looking through mouth holding tongue or using flexible scope looking through nose up to vocal cords.

Over the counter medicine do more harm. Assuming voice change and cold are same, cold medicines are given which delay the improvement

Use of steroids give immediate relief but damage the vocal cords

Is Voice change related throat cancer?

Progressive voice change could point towards cancer. Sudden voice change especially vocal cord palsy could be due cancer of Thyroid, food pipe, lung, lymph node.

Prolonged voice changes are usually:

  • Vocal nodule: singers/teachers’ nodule due to excessive voice use treated by voice therapy
  • Vocal cord polyp- non-cancerous- needs surgery
  • Laryngeal papilloma- viral infection – needs removal
  • Vocal cord cyst- can be removed
  • Sucus vocalis- can be improved with surgery
  • Muscle tension dysphonia- voice therapy
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