Hoarse voice

Hi everyone. Has anyone else had problems with their voice? I have SLE, Fibro and asthma and am on the usual cocktail of drugs. I couldn't sing for four months earlier this year and put it down to the high dose steroids I was on at the time but I'm now fully off the steroids and the problem has come back. I know it sounds a minor thing relatively but I sing with a Barbershop chorus and it is the one thing I do for me if that makes sense. It affects my speaking voice too at times and I have 3 young children so it's very frustrating. Anyone had the same and got any tips?! X

16 Replies

  • Hi I have intermittent horse voice I was referred to an ENT consultant Who diagnosed me with a vocal nodule. I now attend speech and language therapy The consultant wants to remove it but I am keen I have lupus sjorgrens best wishes

  • Have you had your thyroid checked?

  • I get that and with me it's due to sjogrens which is an associated Lupus problem. It would appear to be due to lack of saliva and lubrication of the mouth and throat. I thought at first it was because of my thyroid and subsequent thyroid cancer surgery but nope its Lupus/sjogrens symptoms. Try some fake saliva gel or spray I am using biotene gel at the moment which helps a bit but could do with something a little longer lasting. Try it and if it works a bit you can tell gp who can advise further.Yes it is annoying I can't sing now and lose my voice on the phone or talking to kids but its better knowing it's just my throat needing more lubrication like a car with no oil grinds .keep sipping water or if no dentists watching sucking a boiled sweet may help.

  • Hi littleffie. I too have similar problems. I dribble (yuk), spit when I talk (double yuk) I.m tong-tied, and sometimes my voice goes. Oh the joys of life, but would prefer to have a life than not, if that makes sense. Babs x

  • Hi Tinksie,

    I get hoarse if I talk a lot or with a raised voice for any length of time. Mine is caused by an inflammed thyroid. I know this as two tumour were found on it during a scan & I had to have a biopsy. Benign thank goodness but the tissue samples showed inflammation. Drs checked anti-thyroid antibodies (which attack just thyroid) - negative, so think it is the SLE attacking it. Mine still functioning, but told it will fail so to have yearly thyroid function tests.

    All the best. Sarah

  • Hello tinksie

    I share this prob, and i know we're not alone

    Not long ago there was a vvv good discussion on here about this:


    Following that discussion I went out & got some vocalzones pastille from the chemist...apparently these are vvvv popular with singers!

    Hope you'll let us know what helps you most


  • Thanks so much for your responses. It's so helpful having this resource as GP's and even specialists still seem so much in the dark as to the impact SLE can have on our bodies. My Rhematologist is great but didn't seem to think my voice problems were Lupus related. Thanks so much for the link Barnclown to the previous conversation on the same subject. I've written down all the different tips and am going to try them one by one! It is too much of a coincidence that so many of us have the same issue - although I also have thyroid issues and possibly sjogrens as many have mentioned which could also play a part. Are any of these common threads ever fed back to specialists I wonder?!

    I will let you know how I get on

  • Hi Tinksie

    I have had a hoarse voice since the beginning of the summer. Initially I thought it was due to pollen, then perhaps thyroid, (I'm hypothyroid) but was tested and in range.

    My GP then fast tracked me to the ENT which was worrying in itself.

    After having the camera up my nose and down my throat the consultant said I was using the false vocal chords instead of the proper ones. I didn't even know we have them! He suggested I increase the dose of Lanzoprazole and take Gaviscon four times a day as he believed acid reflux was causing the problem.

    I am now doing that and getting partial relief, so hopefully it will continue.

    If you suffer from acid reflux it may be worth seeing your GP, a simple solution for a distressing situation.

  • I have heard this too.

    On the whole, I don't suffer with horse ess but, when really unwell and having fatigue and weakness, I can aspirated at night and will then sound very hoarse. xx

  • I was taking prednisone prior to going off of it for five days now. Prior to my diagnosis I had joint pains, heart flutters and pains and hair loss. After going on prednisone and methotrexate I begin experiencing sore throat, during the nighttime I felt as if a frog was clogged in the back of my throat, making it difficult to breathe through my mouth! I coughed a lot, where I initially thought it was mold allergies, but since I've been off of prednisone the coughing has subsided considerably. Prednisone was affecting my vision, I began to swell up in several regions of my body, and when I felt as if I was going to have an heart attack I said that's it I'm not going to keep taking this drug and wait for it to kill me!

    But, to answer your question, yes I've had sore throat, clogged throat and coughing.

  • I am a professional singer and teacher and suffer from this problem. When it is really bad, there is little to be done but rest, but I use Vocalzones a lot, plus keep a bottle of ready made honey and lemon by my side. Worth checking out sjogrens and also acid reflux. Try not to clear your throat, as this can irritate the vocal cords. Sugar free hard sweets are also helpful and small frequent sips of water, rather than a lot in one go! Hope this is helpful!

  • Great tips, musicteach! 👏👏👏👏 the voice of experience! I do honey too for this, despite my cynicism, I do find manuka honey helps most...but because of the expense + doubts about many brands' integrity, I stick to tiptrees Wilkin & sons active 10+

  • Glad you like the tips, Barnclown! It's really hard to get the balance right, as overloading the system with sugar is bad, but manuka honey does seem to work and it makes a nice drink, even cold, so I keep A bottle in my music room when teaching and take sips. My students have got used to my growly hoarse voice and it definitely makes one good at explanation without demonstration! Stay well.

  • Interesting about the reflux aswell as I have had that for years and take lansoprazole. so with so many of us suffering similar things it is wonder it doesn't make it into list of symptoms or flag lists and do wish specialists would look at these posts and get the real picture.

  • Hi Tinksie, I am another who gets a hoarse voice. I find it often happens on days if I have spoken more or after a couple of phone calls. I have lupus, sjogrens, and also hypothyroidism. It is very annoying as I find myself doing little coughs to try to speak normally. I have never mentioned it to my GP/consultant so have no idea of the cause. You are not alone with this.x

  • This post is very interesting to me because I have chronic hoarseness. I saw an ENT last week, and he said it's caused by a combination of postnasal drip reflux and voice abuse, because I talk so much in my job. The bottom line is none of these doctors know exactly what are causing these issues they just guess at them, Unless they can see a nodule or other problem during the scope examination. I have been told I have Sjogren's syndrome as well as lupus. So it's Anti-acid drugs, drastic dietary changes of low acidic foods, and back to see him in six weeks. I am extremely fortunate to be able to retire at the beginning of next year. I have been a telephone triage nurse for 15 going on 16 years, So talk nonstop for 8 to 9 hours a day Monday through Friday. I don't know if any of these things will help but just keep trudging forward. I really feel for you and hope you get to the bottom of this. I too love to sing, but have not been able to for a few years now. A great big hug from me to you.

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