Hoarseness refers to difficulty making sounds when speaking or a change from your normal voice. Most of the time, hoarseness does not last more than a week and will go away on its own. Hoarseness is caused by a problem with the vocal cords and can imply a more serious issue if it persists for longer than 2-3 weeks.

What Causes Hoarseness?

Hoarseness can be caused by a variety of different things. The most common cause of hoarseness is a sinus infection, cold, or cough. Other causes include alcohol or tobacco use, cancer, neurological diseases, acid reflux, laryngitis, or voice abuse.


Home remedies and lifestyle changes are the most commonly used treatments for hoarseness. Resting the voice, drinking lots of water, using a humidifier, and avoiding alcohol and tobacco are just a few of the many things you can do to heal your voice.

If hoarseness lasts longer than 2-3 weeks, or substantially worsens, you may need to make an appointment with your doctor. You should expect an ear, nose, and throat examination and possibly additional tests to determine a proper treatment for you.