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General Practice 2023

Aphonia: what é, causes and treatment

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Aphonia: what é, causes and treatment
Aphonia: what é, causes and treatment

Aphonia is when there is a total loss of voice, which may be sudden or gradual, but does not usually cause pain or discomfort, or any other symptom.

It is usually caused by environmental and psychological factors such as generalized anxiety, stress, nervousness, or social pressure but can also be triggered by inflammation of the throat or vocal cords, allergies and irritants such as tobacco.

Treatment for this condition aims to treat what triggered it, and therefore, the time until the voice returns can vary according to the cause, ranging from 20 hours to 2 weeks in milder cases for complete recovery, but in all cases, it is common for the voice to come back completely.

Main causes

Aphonia has several causes, among the main ones are:

  • Stress;
  • Anxiety;
  • Larynx inflammation;
  • Gastric reflux;
  • Inflammation of the vocal cords;
  • Polyps, nodules or granulomas in the larynx or vocal cords;
  • Flu;
  • Excessive use of voice;
  • Cooled;
  • Allergy;
  • Substances such as alcohol and tobacco.

When cases of aphonia are related to inflammation, whether in the vocal cords, throat or any other region of the mouth or trachea, symptoms such as pain, swelling and difficulty swallowing are common. Check out the 7 home remedies that can speed up the improvement of inflammation.

The improvement of aphonia usually happens within 2 days, if it is not linked to inflammation or any other physical condition such as excessive use of the voice and flu, however if this does not happen, it is important to seek a GP or ENT, so that the evaluation can be carried out and confirmed what caused the loss of voice.

How the treatment is done

The treatment of aphonia when it is not involved with any disease and does not have a clinical cause, is done with the speech therapist, who together with the person will perform exercises that stimulate the vocal cords, together, abundant hydration can be recommended and that foods that are too hot or too cold are not consumed.

In cases where aphonia is a symptom of some type of inflammation, allergy or something like polyps or nodules for example, the general practitioner will first recommend treatment to eliminate the cause, and only then will the referral to the speech therapist so that the voice is treated and the aphonia cured.

In addition, in some cases, where the person has a psychological disorder such as generalized anxiety or excessive irritability, for example, psychotherapy may be indicated so that the problems are faced in another way and aphonia does not return.

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