My Voice Is Hoarse! Why??? Vocal Care Tips for Singers (That Work)

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

Does your voice sound hoarse from time to
time? Maybe you sound hoarse after singing, maybe
you wake up every morning with a hoarse voice and it takes a considerable time to warm it
up or maybe you sound hoarse in some parts of your vocal range. In this video, let me give you 8 most common
reasons for hoarseness together with tips how to get rid of it for good. And if you stay, I will give you a free checklist
of vocal behaviours that may be the reason for your hoarseness. Let’s do this. Hi, I am Katarina from How 2 Improve Singing
and in this video, let’s look at the most common causes of hoarse voice. You may be surprised when I tell you that
hoarseness may be a good thing because it’s your body’s way of letting you know that
something is not right. If you pay attention to this early warning
sign and act accordingly, you can prevent further damage to your vocal folds. First, let’s look at what happens to your
vocal folds when you get hoarse. When the structure of the vocal folds changes,
they cannot function properly. When the vocal
folds become swollen, fluid builds up just underneath the superficial
layer of the vocal folds, which causes their thickening. This fluid build-up is a protective mechanism. A cushion of liquid protects the vocal folds
from further damage but the vocal folds can protect themselves only to a certain degree. So, what are the causes of hoarseness or vocal
fold swelling? There are many reasons why a person can sound
hoarse. First, let’s cover causes that have nothing
to do with voice use, like speaking or singing. Cause #1: Infection
The most common cause of hoarseness is acute or chronic infection, like common cold or
flu. Your throat, including your vocal folds may
get inflamed and your voice gets compromised. The vocal folds become pink, red, irritated
and swollen. Sound production may be difficult or painful,
the voice is hoarse, croaky or breathy, or a complete loss of voice may occur. In this case, take a break, hydrate well and
treat the infection as directed by your doctor. Your voice should return to its normal within
two weeks. Cause #2: Allergies
Another cause of hoarseness not related to voice use are allergies. Are you allergic to dust, pollen, animals
or mildew? Or maybe you are allergic to certain foods? Your body may be protecting you by vocal fold
swelling and making you sound hoarse. Also, some medication used to treat allergies
may have adverse effects on your voice. In case of allergies, consult your doctor
or a specialist, allergologist. Cause #3: Cigarette Smoke
It is well documented in many scientific studies that smoking causes changes in the structure
of your vocal folds, including thickening and cancer. So, think twice before you light another cigarette. Cause #4: Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is a common cause of hoarseness in singers because singers are prone to acid reflux. The problem is that some symptoms of acid
reflux are not readily recognized and can cause harm to vocal folds silently. Singers who suffer from acid reflux may wake
up with a hoarse voice and need a considerable time to sound “normally” again. If you suspect acid reflux, visit a specialist,
such as gastroenterologist. Cause #5: Chronic Conditions
Less common causes of hoarseness are related to chronic conditions and neurological disorders,
such as hormonal disorders, arthritis, stroke, asthma or Parkinson’s disease. In these cases, answers may be harder to find
and will require cooperation of several specialists to find the best possible solution for you. Now, let’s talk about causes of hoarseness
that are related to vocal use, either during speaking or singing. Phonotrauma is a term that covers vocal misuse,
abuse and overuse and often results in hoarseness or vocal nodules. Let’s look at these causes in more detail. Cause #6: Vocal Misuse
When you sing or speak with faulty vocal technique you may cause vocal fold swelling and hoarseness. For example, if you push your voice to increase
loudness, if you don’t know how to breathe properly when singing, or if you engage muscles
that are normally not engaged in singing, you are straining your voice beyond what it
can handle. The solution is obvious: develop healthy vocal
habits. If you get hoarse after or during singing,
your body is telling you that you are not using your vocal instrument in a healthy way. Take this warning sign seriously and change
your technique. Also, check out my other video about reasons
of vocal strain in singing. Cause #7 Vocal Abuse
Vocal abuse involves high impact behaviours, such as yelling and screaming, excessive coughing
or throat clearing. It is easy to eliminate these abusive behaviours
once you know what they are. However, sometimes, singers don’t even know
that they are abusing their voices. Therefore, I prepared a free checklist of
such abusive behaviours to help you identify them so that you can start eliminate them
from your life. Cause #8 Vocal Overuse
And finally, vocal overuse happens when vocal folds work more than they are conditioned
to. Singers who use their voices often and with
great demands are prone to vocal fold swelling. These singers need to deliberately plan voice
breaks and vocal rests during their busy schedules so that the vocal folds have time to recover
properly. Also, it is important to build vocal and body
endurance with regular practice. Whatever the reason for your hoarseness is,
it is important to listen to the warning signs of your body. Become aware of hoarseness so that you can
prevent further and more serious damage to the vocal folds. Then, decrease the stress put on vocal folds
and develop good vocal habits. This may include vocal rest, or reduced voice
use, proper vocal and breathing technique when singing. In healthy people, 12 to 24 hours is usually
enough for the liquid build up to be absorbed, for the swelling to go away completely and
for the voice to return to its normal quality. However, if we continue putting stress on
the vocal folds that are already swollen, more severe vocal problems can develop, such
as vocal nodules. Decreasing vocal use is very important. When your vocal folds are irritated and swollen,
they are more susceptible to injury. If you overuse them at this stage, they may
take longer to heal completely. And of course, don’t forget to hydrate well. Hydration is the most basic vocal care habit
for singers on any day, so this rule applies even more when it comes to a hoarse voice. If your symptoms last longer than 2 weeks,
if you suffer from recurring hoarseness, or if your voice is chronically hoarse, it is
time to talk to a voice specialist. If you think you have a problem, don’t delay. Find help promptly before more damage is done. I hope you found this video useful. Give me thumbs up and share it with you friends. And of course, don’t forget to click the
subscribe button and the bell icon to stay connected so that you get notified every time,
I post a new video about voice and singing. That’s all for now. See you in my next video.

16 thoughts on “My Voice Is Hoarse! Why??? Vocal Care Tips for Singers (That Work)

  1. I seriously did NOT know about how our bodies attempt to protect us like this, you know–when it comes to a hoarse voice. I learn a TON from your videos, and as a YouTuber who speaks a lot, I find them to be super valuable! 🙂

  2. I do not sing, but sometimes my throat hurts at night! Thanks for sharing these reasons! I think mine is because I talk and teach a lot!

  3. When I'm recording I need to drink water. I also should probably use honey more to help soothe and heal. Got some great ideas to add to my routine.

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