I became hoarse about three months ago. I have seen my doctor, and I have seen an Ear, Nose & Throat Specialist 3 times (most recently 2 weeks ago). Each time, the ENT put his scope-thing in my throat through both mouth and nose and said I have inflammation and redness of the vocal cords but no growths, polyps, nodules, tumors, etc.
I am 42 years old. I do not smoke and never have.
I did one round of antibiotics and one round of an antifungal. Didn't change anything.
I am not an allergy sufferer.
I am a regular public speaker and singer - no doubt my problem is related to this somehow. But I have seriously curtailed all of that for many weeks now. My concern is that I just am not getting better, though some days are better than others. Generally, my voice just sounds hoarse, like I've been screaming for hours and just wore it out, even if I haven't made a sound for many hours.
The ENT says I just have to try to rest my voice and be patient. But is there anything else I should suspect? This has been going on for a long time.
I do occasionally also feel an ache in my chest. It's worse when I twist or stretch a certain way - I feel this must be muscular - the ENT didn't think much of it. I have no cough (other than the occasional clearing of my throat) and no breathing trouble.
I don't know what to do. It just doesn't get better. Is it possible I've permanently damaged my voice in some way? Should I go totally silent for some time? Please help if you can. Thanks so much.