What is hoarseness?

Hoarseness is a description when your voice sounds rough, raspy or breathy.

How does the voice work?

There are various organs in involved in producing our voice. Our voice is created when air passes our vocal cords. The air generated is from our lungs, which passes through our vocal cords. The movement and vibration of our vocal cords create sound.

What are the causes of hoarseness?

Hoarseness can be caused by many causes. Some of them include:

  • Excessive voice use
  • Recent cold
  • Laryngitis: There can be temporary swelling after a cold
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD): GERD is when stomach acids go up your esophagus into your throat. These acids can irritate the throat and cause hoarseness
  • Vocal cord nodules, cysts and polyps: These can form when there is excessive friction on the vocal folds. 
  • Neurological conditions: When muscles of the throat are affected, it can cause changes in the voice
  • Laryngeal cancer

When should I see a doctor?

If your hoarseness if not improving, you should seek medical attention. Your doctor will take a detailed medical history and thereafter perform a physical examination. An ENT specialist will be able to perform a flexible nasoendoscope to closely examine the vocal cords.

What are some of the most common causes of hoarseness in children?

Hoarseness is typically due to excessive voice use, such as crying and shouting. This causes a lot of pressure and predisposes some children to develop vocal cord nodules.

Other causes include having a recent cold, laryngitis and GERD.

How do I prevent hoarseness?

There are some simple techniques to prevent hoarseness such as:

  • Keeping hydrated and drinking plenty of water
  • Do not speak too loudly or for long periods of time
  • Quit smoking
  • Avoiding excessive alcohol and caffeine as this can cause dehydration

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect from my first ENT specialist visit?

Your ENT doctor will first take a look at your medical history, find out more about the symptoms you’re experiencing and thereafter perform a thorough physical examination. This may include certain procedures such as flexible nasoendoscopy (a look into your nasal passages with a tiny camera). Your issues will be addressed and a suitable treatment plan will be devised for you.

How do I prepare my child for the first visit to the ENT clinic?

Always talk to your child to prepare them for their ENT visit. Find out more about the issues they’re experiencing so that you can assist them in helping the ENT doctor understand their condition. Do bring along a list of their old medications and health booklet.

What modes of payment do you accept?

We accept the following modes of payment:

  • Cash
  • NETS
  • PayNow/PayLah
  • All major credit cards

If you are insured and require more assistance, do approach our clinic staff.

Can I claim my medical bills through my Medisave account?

Yes. All Singaporeans and PR are able to use Medisave for certain consultations, procedures, and medications at our clinic. Please contact us to find out more about the eligible services.

I have insurance. Can I use that to claim for my medical bills?

Selected procedures are deductible if patients have purchased Integrated Shield plans. Please contact us to find out more.

The 6 Approved Integrated Shield Insurers are:

  • NTUC Income’s IncomeShield and Enhanced IncomeShield
  • American International Assurance International Co’s (AIA) HealthShield Gold
  • Great Eastern Life Assurance Co’s SupremeHealth and SupremeHealth Plus
  • Aviva Ltd’s MyShield
  • Prudential Assurance Co’s PRUShield
  • AXA Shield