Aphonia (loss of voice)

What is aphonia?

Aphonia is the term used to describe a loss of voice. When someone loses their voice, it may be partial (hoarseness) or complete (the patient can just about whisper). Aphonia can come on gradually or suddenly, depending on the cause.

What causes aphonia?

The main causes of voice loss are:

Can aphonia be prevented?

There are several measures to prevent voice loss from happening or to help alleviate it if it occurs:

  • No smoking
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Limit exposure to irritants
  • Avoid talking a lot or yelling
  • Avoid whispering
  • Learn techniques to correctly project the voice

How is aphonia treated?

Treatment will depend on the cause of aphonia, but the main methods to treat it include:

  • Voice rest
  • Staying hydrated
  • No smoking
  • Pain medications

If voice loss is due to a specific cause, the main treatments are:

  • Voice therapy
  • Medicines
  • Surgery
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