It becomes a lot harder to engage in everyday interaction. Running that meeting at work becomes a painful struggle. Talking with your family becomes a tiresome chore. Even ordering food for dinner devolves into a challenge. When you’re in this situation, you can’t wait for your throat to get back to normal.
But what if the raspiness or strain in your voice lingers. How long should you brave irritation before you see a specialist?
The Duration of Your Hoarse Throat
If there’s no fundamental injury, and if you’re resting your vocal cords, your hoarse throat should heal by itself in a few days. If you keep raining and working your vocal cords within that period of time you might prolong the healing process – once again, depending on the underlying cause. How long it takes will depend on the individual.
However, in general, if your hoarseness doesn’t get better within two weeks, you should schedule an appointment with us. You should also schedule an appointment if your hoarse voice has no apparent cause – if you didn’t strain your voice shouting or you’re not dealing with a severe cold.
How Can You Pin-Point a Cause?
The following examples can trigger a hoarse throat:
- Smoking: Discomfort, tightness, hoarseness, and a whole host of other larynx issues can be caused by the use of tobacco products. In these situations, it’s normally a wise idea to let us complete an exam to ensure there are no indications of smoking-related cancers.
- Overuse: You might be dealing with over-use of your vocal cords if you’ve been speaking, yelling, or singing excessively. This could make your throat sore.
- Laryngitis or other viral infections: Inflammation, due to an infection of the vocal cords, like laryngitis, can result in a hoarse throat. A hoarse voice can also be brought on by viruses like influenza or by rhinoviruses (the common cold). Your entire body is affected differently by different viruses but they all can cause a soar throat.
This list of causes isn’t comprehensive.
When Should You See a Specialist?
When you’re determining when to come see us, the cause and duration will be the most crucial factors. But both of these factors provide appreciable and interdependent variability. That is, a cold could normally cause a sore throat for several days, whereas laryngitis may trouble your voice for weeks.
You should make an appointment if any of the following applies to you:
- You don’t appear to have the flu or a cold.
- You’ve detected any lump on your neck.
- There’s blood when you cough.
- It’s been more than two weeks and you still have a sore throat (if you smoke this one is particularly relevant).
- Your pain, discomfort level, or hoarseness changes all of a sudden.
- It’s painful to talk or swallow.
- You have problems swallowing or feel difficulty breathing.
What Takes Place When You go to See a Specialist?
Depending on what we determine to be the root cause, your treatment will vary. In the case of a cold, we might ask you to drink more fluids to help thin out the saliva and mucus aggravating your throat.
More in-depth evaluations or treatments may be necessary for other causes. Behavior-related therapies like better use and rest of your vocal cords may be included in your treatments.
Schedule an appointment for an individualized assessment and treatment if you think your sore throat has continued too long or if you have any other anxieties. The first step, after all, is to consult a specialist.