What Is Aphonia

The aphonia can strike anyone at any time in life. Characterized by partial or total loss of voice, aphonia can appear associated with risky behaviors such as smoking or speaking very loudly and for long periods of time.

Causes

Aphonia is usually associated with physical conditions that affect the vocal cords or airways, such as:

  • Laryngitis caused by viral, bacterial or fungal infection
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Vocal cord nodules or polyps
  • Tumors (larynx and thyroid)
  • Gastric reflux
  • Neurological disorders (such as, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
  • Psychological disorders (nowadays it is known that the loss of voice can have a psychological cause, associated with trauma, for example)

Symptoms

  • Inability to speak or inability to speak louder than a whisper
  • Hoarseness
  • Vocal cord spasm
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Cough
  • Swelling

Diagnosis

The diagnosis in most cases involves evaluation by an otorhinolaryngologist, using specific tests in which it is possible to observe the vocal cords and identify the lesions present:

  • Fibrolaryngoscopy
  • Laryngoscopy

Treatment

Treatment will depend on the causes associated with the loss of voice. There are, however, a set of measures that can help you in any case:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Do not smoke and avoid smoking environments
  • Avoid excessive or prolonged use of the voice
  • Avoid whispering, coughing or clearing your throat
  • Avoid dusty environments, strong smells and air conditioning
  • Avoid sudden changes in temperature

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