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Losing my Voice with an extremely sore throat: what are good

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Throughout my college years I went out at night a lot. Previous to this, I hadn't. As I started to go out at night I would develop an extreme sore throat and throughout my college years I pretty much had a raspy voice every day to the point in which people perceived it to be my actual voice.

Recently I have not gone out as much and my sore throat has subsided, however, it never fails that if I do go out to the bar, or to a sporting event my sore throat returns every single time proceeded by days of having no voice.

I am not a smoker, however being at the bar I am around a lot of smoke - unfortunately. Here is how my sore throat usually comes about:

I will be at the bar and I am guessing that due to the smoke and my need to speak louder than normal due to the loud music my throat becomes sore, or I am at a sporting event and shouting for my team, or I do not get much sleep one night and then my throat is sore the next day.

Usually my symptoms will begin when I am out - at the worst times it will feel like my throat is being sliced with knives - to the point where I attempt not to talk at all, or talk in a whisper. My throat will be extremely sore the next morning, and usually my voice is extremely raspy for the next week where it's hard for people to hear me and understand me, especially on the phone. It has reached the point where it is very difficult for me to communicate because my voice becomes so quiet.

I understand that being around smoke and having to elevate my voice can cause these symptoms, but this is no everyday losing my voice type thing - along with losing my voice I am in a lot of pain. I am wondering why everyone else I know can be in the same environment as I but be fine, and what is causing this whether it is allergies or something more serious. If you have any suggestions as to what I can do to prevent this from occuring (vitamins, different diet etc.) that would be great. I would just really like to know what is going on with me and if I need to be worried for the future condition of my throat.

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replied October 10th, 2006
Ear, Nose & Throat Disorders Answer A1606
According to the symptoms you report (sore throat, having no voice), you might be experiencing inflammation of the larynx (laryngitis). During inflammation, the vocal cords become thicker due to the edema. Edematous vocal cords can’t vibrate well and the voice becomes hoarse at first and can be lost completely, later. There could be many reasons that are causing inflammation of the vocal cords : infection, allergy, irritation, etc. When an inflammation heals, the symptoms should disappear. You may also be too sensitive to cigarette smoke in the bars.
Other than inflammation, tumors (papilomas) on the vocal cords can also cause a hoarse voice and even loss of voice. But in cases of papilomas, the symptoms are usually constant and even progressive.
You'll need to visit your GP first and then an ENT-specialist, if necessary.

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