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Can Allergies Cause Lost Voice

The Best Antihistamine For Singers

It isn’t just allergies themselves that will affect your vocal cords; allergen medicines can also have a negative impact. Many over-the-counter antihistamines have a drying effect and deplete the protective layer of mucus around your vocal cords, causing them to stiffen and inflame.   

Antihistamines should be avoided at all costs if you’re a singer. They can actually prolong and worsen the dehydrating effects on your vocal folds. But there are plenty of alternative allergy medicines musicians can use to alleviate allergy symptoms:  

  • Nasal steroids and nasal antihistamines – these are a great allergy relief for singers and can help with nasal symptoms and with postnasal drip. They provide targeted relief that won’t affect the voice and throat.  
  • Medicative pills – some pills such as Singulair and other leukotrienes are safe for singers to take at night as they don’t have a drying effect on the vocal cords.  
  • Natural antihistamines – some natural plant extracts and foods can work as antihistamines and don’t have a drying effect on your voice. 


Can Allergies Cause Me To Lose My Voice

Allergies can affect your voice in several ways, and yes, they can even cause you to lose your voice. First, allergens themselves can irritate and enflame the vocal cords, which can cause hoarseness. Second, the congestion from a stuffed nose or postnasal drip can make it difficult to breathe easily. Finally, even your allergy medicines can affect your voice. Antihistamines dry up the mucus in your body. While this helps relieve congestion, it also dries up the layer of mucus that protects your vocal cords. If your vocal cords are dry they can stiffen or inflame, which can make your voice raspy.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Laryngitis

  • Hoarseness, loss of voice, and throat pain are the primary symptoms of laryngitis in an adult.
  • In infants and young children, laryngitis often occurs along with inflammation of the trachea and bronchial tubes. This is known as . Because these structures have yet to fully develop, the inflammation may make it harder for air to pass through the upper airways, leading to the classic “seal-like” barky cough called stridor that is associated with croup.

How Laryngitis Is Treated

Most cases of laryngitis get better without treatment within a week. To help your vocal cords heal, it’s important not to smoke, to avoid smoky environments, drink plenty of fluids  and try to rest your voice as much as possible.

In some cases, it may be possible to treat the underlying cause of laryngitis. For example, if the symptoms are caused by an allergic reaction, you may be able avoid the substance you’re allergic to, or take medication to help control your body’s response to the substance.

Read more about treating laryngitis

Are There Any Home Remedies To Soothe And Cure Laryngitis

Hoarse voice

It is reasonable not to seek medical care for most cases of laryngitis. Home treatment begins with resting the voice and keeping well hydrated. Symptoms may be controlled by exposure to humidified air. Often, the bathroom is the best place to create a highly humidified area.

  • Turn on the hot water in the shower until there is plenty of steam.
  • Make certain that all the hot water is drained from the tub or shower to prevent the risk of scalding .
  • Spend 15- 20 minutes breathing the warm moist air to help with symptoms.

A cold water vaporizer also may be used to help with humidity. Avoid hot water vaporizers because of the risk of scalding .

Stay well hydrated, especially if the pain makes it difficult to swallow fluid.

Warm water gargles may be soothing. Alternatively, popsicles may offer comfort.

Tylenol and/or ibuprofen may be helpful in decreasing the amount of pain.

Anatomy Of Allergy And Anaphylaxis

Allergies typically develop for two reasons: first, genetic predisposition ; and second, environmental factors, especially in early childhood. According to the “hygiene hypothesis,” the immune system in people who aren’t exposed to a wide variety of germs early in life is more likely to incorrectly develop an allergic immune reaction to harmless foreign antigens.

Having an allergy means that your immune system reacts to an allergen as a threat and mounts a defense against it each time it comes in contact with it. Your first contact with the allergen may produce no obvious symptoms, but it stimulates the production of large amounts of an antibody protein called immunoglobulin E, or IgE. In allergy-prone people, IgE is produced in response to generally harmless substances, such as a food or medication. IgE locks onto immune cells to prepare for the next encounter with the allergen — a process known as sensitization. Now, whenever you’re subsequently exposed to the allergen, IgE signals the mast cells and basophils to disgorge inflammation-causing chemicals called mediators. The symptoms depend on the mediator and the tissue in which it’s released — for example, the mediator histamine can cause blood vessels to dilate and airways in the lungs to narrow.

Certain cardiovascular medications can lower the effectiveness of epinephrine, the key treatment for anaphylaxis; so if you’re taking one of those medications and have allergies, consult your clinician.

Treating And Avoiding Long

Most of us don’t really think about our voice as a tangible thing that requires care – until we can’t use it because of illness. When you get sick and lose your voice, you may think it’s just a normal part of being sick.

Hydration is huge for voice care because water helps thin the mucus that then lubricates the vocal cords as they vibrate. The vocal cords dry out quickly. And it takes a long time to rehydrate them. The best way to keep your hydration at an optimal level is by drinking plenty of water. Not tea, not coffee, not soda – water. Drinks that contain caffeine may seem like they’re hydrating you, but they’re really drying you out more. Unfortunately, your decongestant cold medicine may contribute to dehydration of the vocal cords. Of course, we always stress the importance of nicotine cessation. Not only because of the cancers associated, but also the heat is damaging to the vocal cord tissues.

Over time, your vocal cords can develop abnormal growths, which are often considered a wear and tear injury from constant use and abuse of the voice. These lesions can continue to enlarge and make the voice worse and worse until surgical removal may be required.

Our team tries to keep people out of the operating room. But sometimes vocal cord surgery is necessary because of irreversible damage.

What To Expect At Your Office Visit

The provider will examine your throat, neck, and mouth and ask you some questions about your symptoms and medical history. These may include:

  • To what extent have you lost your voice ?
  • What kind of vocal problems are you having ?
  • When did hoarseness start?
  • Does hoarseness come and go or get worse over time?
  • Have you been shouting, singing, or overusing your voice, or crying a lot ?
  • Have you been exposed to harsh fumes or liquids?
  • Do you have allergies or a post nasal drip?
  • Have you ever had throat surgery?
  • Do you smoke or use alcohol?
  • Do you have other symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, weight loss, or fatigue?

You may have one or more of the following tests:

Voice strain; Dysphonia; Loss of voice

When To Seek Medical Help

As laryngitis often gets better quickly without treatment, you normally only need to see your GP if the symptoms are particularly severe or they last longer than two weeks.

You should seek immediate medical help if you or your child experience breathing difficulties.

If you see your GP, they’ll discuss the possible causes with you and may refer you for tests or to a specialist in hospital.

Read more about diagnosing laryngitis

How Allergies Can Wreak Havoc On Your Voice

Seasonal allergies have been wreaking havoc this spring, thanks to the high pollen counts across much of the U.S. While many allergy sufferers nationwide are experiencing typical allergy symptoms like congestion, sneezing and itchy, watery eyes, some are also dealing with a lesser-known symptom — an impaired voice.

Allergies can affect the voice in various ways. When you inhale pollen, exposure to allergens can cause direct inflammation of the vocal folds. In addition, coughing and postnasal drip can irritate the vocal folds, and restricted lungs and an inflamed nose can also alter the voice.

However, it’s not just the allergies themselves that affect the voice — commonly used allergy medications can also have a negative effect. Over-the-counter antihistamines such as fexofenadine and cetirizine are easy to obtain and have been used to treat allergies for years. Absorbed through your entire system, these drugs can dry up the body’s mucus — and when it comes to the voice, that’s a problem.

The human body makes a liter or two of mucus a day, which helps maintain a thin protective layer over the vocal folds and keep them supple. If antihistamines dry up the mucus in your system, your vocal folds become dry and stiff like sandpaper, which means there’s extra abrasion when they vibrate. This can lead to inflammation and a raspy, strained voice that takes extra effort to use.

Can You Lose Your Voice With Hay Fever

Hay fever is a common allergy – around 30% of the population suffer with it. Suffering from hay fever is like having a chronic cold; it causes sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, and a stuffy/runny nose. But most worryingly for singers, hay fever can also cause voice loss. 

Hay fever causes congestion in your airways and this leads to postnasal drip . This irritates the vocal cords, which may already be inflamed from any pollen you’ve breathed in. 

If your vocal cords become swollen or irritated, it can cause your voice to crack, thin, and eventually disappear.  

How To Get Rid Of A Raspy Singing Voice

Having a raspy singing voice is nothing to worry about. A raspy voice can actually provide an unusual and soulful vocal element to many genres of music. Whether you’re looking for raspy singers for inspiration or want to smooth out rougher notes, here are our helpful tips for improving your vocal tone: A raspy singing… Read more »

Anaphylaxis: An Overwhelming Allergic Reaction

Noble House Clinic Laryngitis

Swift action is needed to short-circuit potentially deadly symptoms.

Sarah Lyman had no reason to worry when her husband John left the house for a jog after lunch: he looked his usual healthy self. Twenty minutes later, she got word that he had collapsed by the side of the road — fighting for breath. At the hospital, she learned that the cause was anaphylaxis , likely brought on by the lobster salad they’d eaten for lunch. Fortunately, John was treated in time and survived. That he was allergic to shellfish was news to him.

Anaphylaxis is a severe and sometimes life-threatening reaction that can develop within an hour — and sometimes within minutes or even seconds — after exposure to an allergen, a substance to which an individual’s immune system has become sensitized. Many allergens can touch off anaphylaxis, including foods, medications, and insect stings . In John Lyman’s case, his postprandial jog likely played a role: anaphylaxis is occasionally triggered by aerobic activity like jogging — especially after ingesting allergenic foods or medications. Sometimes, the cause is unknown.

Home Remedies For Losing Your Voice: What Are The Causes Of Losing Voice

The vocal cords located inside the larynx are two folds of membrane, covered with muscles and cartilage. The vocal cords open and close to produce tymphonic sounds and air passes through the vocal cords. The sound is produced with the help of vibration and movement of the vocal cords.

Occasionally a person may suffer from intermittent loss of voice, due to inflammation of the vocal cord. There are several factors which may affect the performance of the vocal cords and this in turn may result in inability of an individual to produce adequate amount of sound, which hinders his/her ability to speak.

Diagnosing The Cause Of Hoarseness

If you arrive at your doctor’s office or the emergency room and are experiencing breathing difficulty, the first mode of treatment may be to restore your ability to breathe.

Your doctor may give you a breathing treatment or insert a breathing tube into your airway to assist you in breathing.

Your doctor will likely want to take an inventory of your symptoms with a thorough medical history to determine the underlying cause.

They may ask about the quality and strength of your voice and the frequency and duration of your symptoms.

Your doctor may ask about factors that worsen the condition of your symptoms, such as smoking and shouting or speaking for long periods. They’ll address any additional symptoms, such as or .

Your doctor will likely examine your throat with a light and tiny mirror to look for any inflammation or abnormalities.

Depending on your symptoms, they may take a throat culture, run a series of plain film of your throat, or recommend a CT scan .

Your doctor may also take a sample of your blood to run a complete blood count. This assesses your red and white blood cell, platelet, and hemoglobin levels.

Hows Chronic Laryngitis Diagnosed

Your doctor can diagnose chronic laryngitis. You’ll want to see your doctor if your throat has started to become hoarse or you’ve had any other laryngitis symptoms lasting for longer than 14 days.

It’s better to try to address and treat the cause of laryngitis sooner than later. Laryngitis that lasts for longer than three weeks is considered to be chronic laryngitis.

Your doctor may want to perform a to look at your larynx. If anything looks out of the ordinary, your doctor may also order a biopsy of the affected area.

It’s important to take your child to their doctor if their symptoms last for more than two weeks. If your child has trouble breathing or swallowing, take them to a doctor right away.

These may be signs of , which causes swelling of the area around the vocal cords. This is more common in infants and younger children.

Baylor College Of Medicine Blog Network

Spring is here! Aren’t we so glad to be out of winter?

With seasonal changes, people often experience upper respiratory infections, allergies or a cold, which may result in voice changes that can last up to two weeks.

You may ask yourself, “If I have a cold or allergy, how can this affect my voice?”

The same allergies that affect your nose can affect your voice. The upper respiratory tract or sinus system is connected to your larynx by postnasal drip.

Postnasal drip is the collection of secretions that drip down the back of your nose.

These secretions can drip directly onto your vocal cords and cause irritation, pitch changes , altered vocal range , decreased resonance, throat pain, cough and increased risk of hemorrhage of vocal folds.

What can you do to protect your voice when colds, allergies or sinusitis arise? Try to:

Preventative care can make you healthy year round. If your voice has not improved two weeks after suffering a cold or allergy, you may want to consider a visit an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist.

What Happens At The Doctors Office

While hoarseness typically isn’t an emergency, it may be linked to some serious medical conditions.

Speak with your doctor if your hoarseness becomes a persistent issue, lasting more than one week for a child and 10 days for an adult.

See your doctor promptly if hoarseness is accompanied by and difficulty swallowing or .

A sudden inability to speak or put together coherent sentences may indicate a serious underlying medical condition.

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Final Thoughts On Laryngitis

  • Laryngitis causes a hoarse voice or the complete loss of the voice because of irritation to the vocal cords.
  • The vocal cords get inflamed and swollen when you have laryngitis. Overuse of the vocal cords leads to the distortion of sounds and hoarseness.
  • Laryngitis symptoms include a raspy voice, losing your voice completely, coughing, trouble swallowing, a dry or sore throat, a tickling, scratchiness in the throat, a constant urge to clear the throat, postnasal discharge and fever.
  • Some causes of laryngitis include bacteria and viruses, overuse of the voice, GERD, allergies, smoking, alcohol use, exposure to irritants and toxins, and use of inhaled steroid medicines.
  • Natural treatments for laryngitis include foods and herbs like apple cider vinegar, ginger, garlic, marshmallow root and more. Plus, essential oils that help to soothe the throat and fight infections.

Read Next: Essential Oils for Sore Throat

Laryngeal Irritants Such As Allergies Or Reflux

8 Best Remedies for a Sore Throat and Lost Voice

Throat clearing and  are traumatic to the vocal cords. If  or postnasal drip are irritating your throat, we want to get a handle on that by optimizing your allergy management before you do permanent harm to your vocal cords.

 can be a tricky issue. We sometimes find symptoms that have been labeled previously as related to acid reflux but have nothing to do with acid coming up and affecting the tissues in the larynx. In these cases, we don’t want to medicate you for reflux, but instead want to find the true cause for your throat irritation.

However, conditions such as laryngopharyngeal reflux can damage the tissues of the voice box. In those cases, we recommend lifestyle changes such as losing weight, changing your diet, and not eating right before going to sleep. If those changes don’t work, we’ll consider medication.

You only get one voice. Protect it. If you are experiencing vocal problems, request an appointment with a laryngologist or call .

Have you experienced any of these voice problems? Share your experiences with us on  or .

Is It Possible To Lose Your Voice Due To Allergies

Dr. Madhukar PunjaRead MoreDr. Jack MutnickRead More

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Laryngitis And Hay Fever

Laryngitis is the medical term for an inflamed voice box. If you suffer from hay fever, your vocal cords will swell when pollen enters your airways. This swelling could turn into laryngitis in severe cases. Laryngitis often stems from other illnesses like colds and flu too. Hay fever presents a lot of the same symptoms as common colds – postnasal drip, congestion, and sore throat. 

The symptoms of laryngitis are hoarseness, significant voice loss, and a dry, scratchy throat. These can all be caused by allergies. Taking a complete voice rest is the best option when you have laryngitis. If you try to sing at this stage, you risk setting back your recovery and prolonging the voice loss. You may have to refrain for just a few days, but it’s more likely you’ll be out of action for a week or two, vocally speaking.  

Can Sinus Problems Affect Singing

Sinus problems can massively affect the quality of your voice. Allergies can target your sinuses, leaving you feeling stuffy and congested and giving you a headache whenever you try to perform. 

Sinusitis can also make it hard to sing. The infection is usually caused by bacteria or viruses and can irritate your vocal cords. You may feel too hoarse and stuffy to get on stage but singing can actually help sinusitis. 

Humming exercises can help relieve congested sinuses and clear your voice. Many vocal coaches recommend humming phonation to heal your voice.  

You can then progress to trying a vocal warm–up to clear your airways. If your voice is hoarse and strained, don’t push it too hard as this can cause more permanent damage. 

How Do I Get My Voice Back From Allergies

If you’ve lost your voice due to allergies, the best way to recover is by treating the allergy itself. Decongestants and antihistamines are off the cards for singers as they dry out your voice. But there are lots of other trailed and tested ways to get back a lost voice: 

  • Exercise for a few minutes to reduce nasal congestion 
  • Suck , menthol or ginger throat lozenges to soothe throat irritation 
  • Take a hot shower to wash off any allergens and to get steam into your vocal folds 
  • Use a saline sinus rinse  
  • Use a nasal spray to ease congestion and relieve your vocal cords 
  • Gargle with warm salt water to help your sore throat

Cough And Shortness Of Breath

Some people find they have a cough that doesn’t go away or they find it difficult to breath. Their breathing may become noisy .

Shortness of breath and stridor is a serious symptom that should not be ignored. You need to see your doctor urgently. 


  • a feeling that there’s a lump in your throat
  • bad smelling breath
  • an ear ache that doesn’t go away

You should see your doctor if you:

  • have a hoarse voice for more than 3 weeks
  • have lost 4 to 5 kg or more in a short time and you are not dieting
  • are short of breath or have a cough that doesn’t go away, or your breathing becomes noisy
  • have difficulty swallowing
  • have any other symptoms that are unusual for you or that don’t go away

Your symptoms are unlikely to be cancer but it’s important to get them checked by a doctor.

It is important that you go to your GP as soon as possible if you notice worrying symptoms.

Trouble With Your Thyroid

This butterfly-shaped gland in your lower neck pumps out a hormone that controls a number of functions in your body. When your doesn’t make enough of it, one symptom you might have is a hoarse voice.

If you have a — when your gets larger — you may a lot and have problems with your speech. A growth on the , or a nodule, can also affect the way you speak.

Learn more about thyroid nodules.

You Use Your Voice Too Much

Each time you talk or sing, you use different muscles, including some in your mouth and throat. Just like other muscles in your body, overuse of the ones that help you speak can lead to , strain, and injury. The wrong technique can also bring on hoarseness.

Here are some common things that you may be doing wrong:

  • Speak, sing, yell, or too much
  • Use a pitch that’s higher or lower than normal when you talk
  • Cradle your phone between your head and

Can Allergies Cause A Hoarse Voice

How to Get Rid of Laryngitis

Allergies can target your respiratory system and leave your voice hoarse and raspy. Seasonal allergies like pollen allergies and hay fever are two of the worst culprits for impairing your voice. 

If you have an allergy, inhaling pollen can inflame the vocal folds and restrict your range and pitch. 

Allergic asthma is the most common type of asthma and can also cause hoarseness. It’s triggered by allergens including mould, dust mites and pollen and causes symptoms like wheezing, coughing, and hoarseness.  

Coughing causes trauma to your vocal cords and makes your larynx extra sensitive. Allergies trigger bouts of necessary coughing, but if you cough and clear your throat for a prolonged period of time it can become a habit that you start doing even when you don’t need to.  

Conventional Treatment Of Laryngitis

According to research published in Otolaryngology Clinics of North America, treatment of laryngitis depends on the cause, as well as the age, vocal demands and clinical characteristics of the individual.

Antibiotics are often prescribed for acute laryngitis. However, research shows that penicillin and appear to have no benefit in treating the primary outcomes of this condition. Some studies have found that antibiotics can improve some laryngitis symptoms, such as cough and hoarseness of voice. But, these modest benefits may not outweigh the cost, adverse effects or negative consequences for antibiotic resistance patterns.

Many people take proton pump inhibitors for gastroesophageal reflux disease and GERD-related chronic laryngitis. By lowering stomach acid levels, proton pump inhibitors are taken to reduce acid reflux into the esophagus. However, studies show that PPI therapy only offers modest and non-significant clinical benefits. PPIs don’t work to reduce stomach acid because GI issues are connected to low stomach acid. Because people have low stomach acid, they are unable to digest their food fully.

, or steroid hormones, may also be used to reduce vocal cord inflammation. These drugs are generally used when there’s an urgent need to treat laryngitis symptoms like loss of voice. Side effects of corticosteroids may include high blood pressure, headache, muscle weakness and ulcers.


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