Maybe you have used your voice in an unhealthy way for a long time, leading to actual physical changes within the larynx (voicebox). Sometimes it’s just a case of wear-and-tear…lots of air travel, dehydration, or just speaking a lot during your work day. But you’re starting to notice that your voice is rough and hoarse much of the time, and you don’t sound like you used to.
You may need to start a course of voice therapy. Voice disorders (e.g. vocal nodules or polyps) will not stop you from speaking at first but may make your voice sound rough and tired. Other pathologies include the effects of acid reflux, trauma to the vocal folds (e.g. as a result of surgical intubation), and neurological or other structural changes.
A licensed and certified speech-language pathologist will help you determine whether your voice problem warrants referral to an otolaryngologist (ear-nose-throat doctor) who may in turn recommend voice therapy or other forms of treatment. We’ll let you know during your evaluation if we think you should see your doctor before starting voice exercises.