12. Benign Growths
Sometimes benign growths can develop on the vocal cords, interfering with their function and preventing normal speech. According to the Cleveland Clinic, growths such as vocal cord nodules, polyps, or cysts are often related to overuse of the vocal cords. Professional singers or speakers may suffer from these growths. Symptoms include hoarseness, vocal raspiness, or vocal weakness and fatigue. If your voice is instrumental to your profession, take steps to prevent abusing your vocal cords. Rest your voice between speaking engagements, get plenty of sleep, keep well hydrated, and use vocal warmups before singing or speaking.
11. Dry Air
Your vocal cords require proper moisture and hydration. Humidity levels in your home should be between 30 and 50% humidity. Levels lower than 30% can cause nose bleeds, hoarseness, and dry skin. Levels above 50% can trigger the growth of mold. You can check the humidity levels in your home by purchasing an inexpensive hygrometer. Alternatively, you can check humidity using the ice cube test. Leave ice cubes in a glass of water for five minutes. After that time, excess condensation on the outside of the glass indicates excessive humidity. A complete lack of condensation may indicate air that is too dry.
10. Medication Side Effects
The medications that treat one medical issue may contribute to problems in other areas. Several medications have side effects that include changes to the voice or irritation to vocal cords. The decongestants and antihistamines that are so effective in drying out the overproduction of mucus in nasal passages can be overly drying to the throat. Diuretics, which are prescribed to increase urination, can result in dry tissues. A class of blood pressure medications known as ACE inhibitors is known to cause a dry cough and throat irritation.