Common causes of laryngitis, hoarseness, or voice loss are:
- Upper respiratory tract infection—This is most often caused by a virus, such as the common cold.
- Irritation caused by voice overuse—Overuse can be caused by yelling, singing, and speaking loudly for extended periods of time.
- Airborne irritants—Irritants include cigarette smoke and pollen, dust, and mold allergens.
- Vocal nodules—These are benign lesions (similar to calluses) that are caused by thickening of the epithelial tissue of the vocal cords.
- Vocal polyps—These are soft, fluid-filled lesions on the vocal cords, which can be caused by one episode of voice abuse. The polyps may become cancerous, particularly in smokers.
- Infections—Infections may include tuberculous laryngitis and fungal laryngitis.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)—GERD is stomach acid that rises up in the esophagus and irritates the vocal folds.
Other less common causes of hoarseness or voice loss include:
- Functional dysphonia—abnormal use of the vocal mechanisms despite normal anatomy
- Laryngeal papilloma—growths on the larynx caused by human papilloma viral infection
- Muscle tension dysphonia—a voice disorder caused by excessive or unequal tension while speaking
- Reinke's edema—an accumulation of fluid in the vocal cords, usually associated with smoking
- Spasmodic dysphonia—a condition resulting in irregular voice breaks
- Vocal cord paralysis—weakness or immobility of the vocal cords
- Side effects from inhaled medications used for asthma
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.
Risk factors include:
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