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Sudden hoarse throat, no cold, no soreness. Cause?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
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hello there very woried about my dad as last nite he started with a little bit of a horse thorat and now hes got a very bad horsey thoat that i can hardly hear him when he calls out, i am getting vry worried about him and i also suffer with anxitey and panic attacks. and very worrid and i have had 2 panic attacks from wanting to know whats causing his horsey thoat please help asap
please let me know what could be causeing his horsey throat as he aint got any symptoms of having a cold and he dont have a sore thoart and he says he feel ok so its only horsey thorat.
Posted Mon, 16 Apr 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 3 hours later

Thanks for the query.

Sudden onset of hoarseness could be due to the following reasons:

1. Laryngopharyngeal reflux secondary to the reflux of the acid from the stomach into the throat causing swelling of the vocal cords.
2. Angioneurotic edema of the throat and vocal cords causing hoarseness and difficulty in swallowing and breathing.
3. Acute laryngitis causing hoarseness.

If it were to be Angioneurotic edema then there will be difficulty in swallowing and breathing along with hoarseness. In Laryngitis, the features are similar to angioneurotic edema but fever is also noticed. So, according to the description mentioned by you, your father does not have either fever or breathing difficulty, hence the last possibility could be the laryngo-pharyngeal reflux.

It so happens, that the valves monitoring the reflux of the gastric contents into the esophagus gets weak due to old age and the acid tends to flow back into the throat causing irritation as well as swelling in the throat and the upper digestive tract. On lying down, the acid trickles into the throat and burns it. The inflammation caused secondary to regurgitation of the acid causes swelling of the voicebox and hence hoarseness.

I would suggest you to consult a good ENT specialist at the earliest for a thorough check-up and further management.

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Sudden hoarse throat, no cold, no soreness. Cause? 7 minutes later
so u dont think it could be anything like thorat cancer and he dont have problem swalowing plus he is a smoker
Follow-up: Sudden hoarse throat, no cold, no soreness. Cause? 7 minutes later
he had the horseness abit b4 he went to bed and he woke up with it too, so do you thnk it could be thorat cancer a all i felt his neck and he didnt have any lumps by my rubbing my hands down his neck brifly
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 24 minutes later

Thanks for writing back.

The possibility of a throat cancer cannot be rule out, as there is a history of smoking also, but the hoarseness in that condition will be progressive and not abrupt. Regarding the lymph nodes, it is not mandatory that the person without lymph node enlargement should not have cancer of the vocal cords.

Hence, without performing a thorough examination of the throat and the vocal cords, it is very difficult to comment. I would still suggest you to get him examined by a good ENT specialist at the earliest, which can also put an end to all your worries and give you a peace of mind.

Hope, this answers your query.

Wish you and your father good health.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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