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Having hoarse voice. Started wheezing and having rattle on chest. Should I go for specialist advice?

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Hi I have had a hoarse vooften or ten days now and it is marginally getting better. I have just started wheezing and having a rattle on my chest as I can't clear my throat . I'm not prone to coldsand generally healthy . Not sure if to check it or top being neurotic
Posted Sun, 19 Aug 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 5 hours later


Thanks for the query.

Hoarseness occurs as a result of infection or inflammation of the vocal cords.

The most common cause of hoarseness is acute laryngitis (the vocal cords are found within the larynx) due to infection such as the common cold or overuse of the voice. The other causes are allergies, trauma to the vocal cords, gastroesophageal reflux and irritants such as smoking. There are other causes, but they are not common.
Hoarseness would respond to resting the voice, smoking cessation in persons who smoke, treating any allergies or reflux that may be present. If it is due to a cold it will usually resolve when the cold resolves.
If hoarseness continues for longer than 3 weeks the person is said to have chronic laryngitis.

With a history of hoarseness, wheezing and a rattle on your chest, it is possible that you may have 1. Upper breathing is difficult it would be best to visit a doctor or emergency center as soon as possible.
Some persons who are not known asthmatics may be diagnosed with reactive airway- the lungs react to a virus by causing asthma like symptoms.

2. A rattle on the chest may occur in both viral and bacterial infection of the bronchial passages (airway in the lungs) - it is called bronchitis. A person may present with cough which may sound wet- rattling. It can be treated with mucolytics (medication that helps to break up the mucus in the chest) which can usually be obtained over the counter.
The difficulty in clearing the throat may also be related to mucus in the throat.

As you've started to wheeze, this requires a visit to a doctor. A detailed chest examination is needed to identify the cause. Treatment is usually symptomatic relief as explained above.

Hope this information is helpful to you; feel free to ask any additional questions.

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