Department of Otorhinolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

McGovern Medical School

Seeking help about my voice

Should I see a doctor about my voice?

While we all can experience voice changes when we have a cold or the flu, there are certain warning signs that should trigger a visit with a health professional. Dr. Alexander is available to help you if you show any of these signs.

Most voice changes that happen with a cold resolve within 2 weeks. If your voice is still not sounding normal after this period of time, you should consider being evaluated. There may be more than just the swelling that is expected in the setting of an upper respiratory infection.

An increase in the amount of work it takes to produce your voice or having extra air escaping (breathiness) can be signs of weakness within one or more vocal cords. It should never be painful to talk. This can be a sign of abnormal growths in the voice box and should always be investigated by a physician.

If your voice is shaky or you have problems starting certain words, you may be helped by having a Laryngologist examine your throat and vocal function. Dr. Alexander completed a fellowship that trained her to look for signs of Neurologic problems that can affect your voice.

Finally, if you have noticed unintentional weight loss or difficulty swallowing along with your voice problems, please call for an urgent evaluation as these can be signs of serious conditions that need to be treated quickly.