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Chronic hoarseness plus other symtoms (listed). Massive problem!

Hi,

This problem is massive for me and my entire livelihood relies on finding a solution, and preferably some improvement within the month. I would appreciate any and all help offered, particularly if someone can identify the possible problems I could help so I can try different things.

I am pursuing the official medical route, but unfortunately I can't make the wheels of a public health system turn quicker, and it's imperative I also try to understand my problem.

I've had the following symptoms for about a year. The main problem, hoarseness, I now have the vast majority of the time.


* Chronic Hoarseness
- On very rare occasions, which can be any time of the day including immediately upon waking or when out at the pub, I don't have any hoarseness. But 95% of the time, I have a lot.
- Typically my vocal folds feel either very dry, or completely covered in mucous. Both of these things seem to have the same effect on my speech.
- My upper vocal range doesn't seem as badly affected, so for example I can sing high notes. The problem is more tone at a vocal and deep level.

* No runny nose
- I thought it's important to mention this, I don't actually have any nasal mucous problems.

* Coughing
- Until recently I was coughing a lot to clear my throat. I've stopped doing that now to avoid causing more problems, instead I just try to live with the mucous.

* Occasional sore throats
- About two or three days a week I have a sore throat.
- Often it feels inflamed and a little swolen.
- Sometimes my neck also hurts a little if I inspect and push parts of it with my hands.

* Headaches
- Not sure if it's related, but I seem to get frequent headaches now. Sometimes they last for days.

* Pressure
- Very occasionally it feels like there's pressure inside my forehead, around and under the eyes and at the top of my cheeks. It's a little like feeling "under the weather", except I don't get the accompanying onset virus which normally comes after those symtoms.

* Muscle pain
- Rarely, but sometimes, I get muscle pain. I actually think that I'm about to come down with an illness, but often the next day it's compeltely gone and I don't get ill.

* Feeling of dehydration
- Even though I drink a lot of water (2 litres MINIMUM per day, normally more; from the moment I awake to when I go to bed) my mouth occsionally feels dry.

* Bad taste in mouth
- sometimes when I wake up I have a dry and bitter taste in my mouth. It's not very bad, just a little bitter.

Other things to note:

* My mucous is always clear and healthy, there's never any yellow or green stuff coming up.
* For the last week, thinking that perhaps I had acid reflux problems, I have been eating small meals and completely avoiding alcohol, sugary foods, and fatty foods. It has made no apparent improvement to my condition.
* I can aliviate my hoarseness with agressive tactics... such as drinking strong cups of coffee with ginger, or using strong doses of mucicides. Unfortunately I suspect this causes more problems in the long term, although I don't really have strong evidence for that yet. Also, the solution is very tempremental. Sometimes it doesn't work effectively, and other times it only lasts a short time.

I understand that's rather a lot of information, however I'm hopeful that this will help diagnose the problem. I've been reading a lot about my symptoms and looking at possibilities and I'm still undecided as to the issue.

If anyone can give me tips on convincing my public health service doctor to get me an appointment with an ENT, then I'd appreciate them also. At the moment she's having blood tests done, which I suspect isn't going to lead anywhere useful.
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replied September 14th, 2014
Interesting development...

I woke up today and my voice is almost perfect, aside from my neck and surrounding muscles feeling a little strained. This is the first time I've been able to speak properly for any serious length of time for weeks.

I really do not know what to put this down to aside from the fact that as of last Friday (almost 10 days ago) I have avoided eating 4 hours before lying down and have avoided eating too much meat or spicy food (as per LPR recommendations). If this keeps up, then I can almost certainly say that my problem was caused by acid reflux...

Otherwise it may just be a random respite. We'll see how it goes. I'm cautiously optimistic.

Really I am completely amazing at how different I sound when I can talk normally and when I have my symptoms and I can't. It's bizarre that a bit of mucous (and inflammation?) can make sure a difference.

If anyone has any advise given this development, for example things I can definitely eliminate such as... cysts? then please chip in.

I was getting all prepared to go to a specialist privately, if I can avoid doing so that would be great. I will, of course, continue to push through the public health service just to make sure there's no serious underlying problem.
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replied September 14th, 2014
Another possible cause I forgot about... yesterday I performed two salt-water sinus flushes. At the time I didn't notice much difference and I was sceptical of an infection as my mucous is always clear, however it's worth considering.
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