Gravelly voice

Weird question but I'm a woman with a fairly low pitched voice normally.  The last few years I've noticed that sometimes my voice is very gravelly -- like I'm a 2 pack a day smoker!  And in the last few months, my normally low pitched voice sounds strained and higher pitch and my throat feels tight.  I do have some mild to moderate seasonal allergies which are usually worse in fall but definitely around in spring and wondering if sinus drainage could be the culprit.  Anyone have a similar situation and if so did anything help?  I hate to take medicine every day so save the allergy medicine for days when I'm having bothersome symptoms but wondering if if it would help if I took it more consistently? Thanks everyone!

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RE: Gravelly voice ()

I had this exact thing with the smoke from the fires. Then I proceeded to get asthma. Good times.

RE: Gravelly voice ()

Please see your doctor. This could be acid reflux, allergies, or something more serious. Get a referral to an ENT specialist so they can visualize your throat. 

RE: Gravelly voice ()

Not that this is necessarily what is going on, but low/gravelly voice *can* be a sign of a thyroid issue. It is worth getting it checked out by an endocrinologist. Make sure they look thoroughly at all levels. The most superficial thyroid test that your GP might order is not detailed enough. Trust me on this! If it's not a thyroid issue then you can start exploring other causes, but it's definitely worth ruling this out.

RE: Gravelly voice ()

You might try checking out the symptoms of laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) which is a type of "silent" acid reflux. It can often lead to gravelly voice, post-nasal drip, chronic throat-clearing. If these symptoms seems to match yours, an ENT doctor can confirm.  You can try a diet which avoids the specific LPR triggers ( I was told the big 4 were caffeine, chocolate, alcohol mint - although there's a much longer version of the list for general acid reflux).

RE: Gravelly voice ()

I have been like that for a year and smoke has made it much worse. I use nasal spray at night. Have chronic stuffed up nose at night.

RE: Gravelly voice ()

I have suffered from allergies for years. About 15 years ago, I got fed up with how bad things were, and tired of having to take steroidal nasal spray, and visited an osteopath. She recommended "nasal lavage": a simple rinsing of the nasal passages with salt water 2x a day. It sounds distasteful, I know, but it's actually very pleasant, and it has changed my life! The ratio is 1 cup of previously boiled water to 1/2 tsp sea salt. While some folks use a a nettipot, I just use one of those little bulb syringes you use for baby medicine. Fill it, run it through each nostril twice; it runs out the other nostril, removes all the allergens and unwanted particles, clears out the phlegm, and reduces swelling. Once when you get up in the morning, once before you go to bed. I haven't had a cold in years, either! As folks have said, the smoke is making everything much worse. This really helps!

RE: Gravelly voice ()

Wouldn’t hurt to see a doctor. It might not be an allergy, it might be gastric reflux or something else entirely. A few years ago I developed a scratchy gravelly voice and got a full check up. The doctor noticed I had a deviated septum and some post nasal drip (and no gastric reflux) but he basically said “Just drink more water” and didn’t even prescribe medication. It turned out my new job required me to talk a lot more and my throat was just overused and the scratchy voice went away by itself. So get it checked out, and don’t assume seeing a doctor means being put on allergy meds forever. 

RE: Gravelly voice ()

You don't mention your age, but as a singer, I have noticed that my voice has definitely changed as I've gotten older. Here's an interesting article:https://ukhealthcare.uky.edu/wellness-community/blog/feeling-hoarse-you-get-older-heres-how-protect-your-voice#:~:text=These%20changes%20can%20be%20due,vibrate%20evenly%20for%20efficient%20voicing.

As long as you are otherwise healthy, I wouldn't be super worried, but it's always good to mention it to your doctor at your next visit. Good luck!

RE: Gravelly voice ()

Thyroid?

RE: Gravelly voice ()

You need to see a doctor. Voice changes can be a sign of many serious medical issues such as laryngeal tumors 

RE: Gravelly voice ()

My voice got increasingly gravelly and it turned out to be a thyroid issue. Taking levothyroxine completely resolved it so you might want to have your thyroid checked to see if you can rule that out (and echoing a previous commenter about trying to see a specialist isn't deeply knowledgeable on thyroid issues). My allergies have gotten worse over the last few months as well thanks to all the ways our environment is changing - I use saline nose drops or do a netty pot rinse when they get bad and I don't want to take Zyrtec every  day (the allergies haven't affected my voice though - that was strictly thyroid).

RE: Gravelly voice ()

I was floored when my similar symptoms turned out to be GERD (acid reflux in the larynx.). Ask your doc ... lots can be done with diet, time of eating, sometimes meds.