How to Make Your Voice Hoarse

Three Methods:Overusing Your VoiceChanging Your HabitsGetting Sick

You may find yourself with a hoarse voice and not know why. Maybe you want to lower the tone of your voice for the day for a dark and raspy sound. There are several factors which could lead to that deep, dark voice.

Method 1
Overusing Your Voice

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    Yell a lot. Cheer on your favorite sports team at the top of your lungs, or go to a loud concert and try to have a conversation with your friend. Use a loud voice for a long time and you will likely hear the effects the next day.[1]
    • You may need to continue speaking at a high volume for several hours to achieve a hoarse voice.[2]
    • Your voice will return to normal in a day or two. It heals more quickly with the use of throat spray, lozenges and hydrating with 64 ounces of water per day.[3]
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    Sing in a high key. When you sing, your vocal chords vibrate. The higher the pitch the more rapid the vibrations. Too much of these vibrations can cause irritation to the vocal folds, which will fail to come completely together, leaving your voice raspy.[4]
    • You will need to sing beyond your vocal range to achieve this goal.
    • Sing a note as high as your voice can reach, then push it further with as much breath as you can muster.
    • Continue this for several hours.
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    Speak in a whisper. Whispering can be more stressful on the voice than speaking normally. When you whisper, you squeeze the vocal chords together more tightly and cause strain on your voice.
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    Cry a lot. Crying for an extended period of time will take its toll on your voice. This is especially the case with children or infants who have been crying all night. Their voice will likely be hoarse by the morning.[5]

Method 2
Changing Your Habits

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    Dehydrate your body. Dehydration can take a toll on the voice. Lack of hydration can dry out the larynx, vocal folds and mucous membranes in your throat. [6]
    • You can achieve this by not drinking water or even replacing water with beverages which cause dehydration like alcohol or coffee.
    • Exercise and release water from your body by sweating.
    • Severe dehydration can lead to confusion, headache, fever, fainting or even death. Don't get carried away.[7]
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    Smoke cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes effects the vocal frequency of the voice. It lowers the voice leaving it sounding raspy.[8]
    • This frequency can rise as quickly as 40 hours after smoking cessation.
    • Depending on your usual smoking habits, this could take a severe increase to achieve a husky voice over the course of several days.
    • It should be noted that smoking can lead to cancer, cardiovascular, and respiratory disease.[9]
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    Eat spicy foods. Heartburn, or acid from your stomach reaching up into your throat, will cause irritation in the tissue. Spicy foods can cause this reflux, which may also make you feel like you need to cough, further irritating the tissue around your larynx and effecting your voice.[10]
    • This may not be as effective for people who regularly eat spicy foods.
    • Try a cuisine your body is unfamiliar with. Some options may be Indian, Ethiopian or Chinese food.[11]
    • Many restaurants with spicy food will note the spice level on the menu. Opt for the dish with the hottest spice.
    • Avoid acid reflux which can create ulcers and abdominal pain. This can be treated with acid blockers.
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    Develop a husky voice. You can practice changing the tone of your speech without injuring your throat, but changing the resonance of your voice.[12]
    • Say "uhhhh" and see where it is currently resonating. If the vibration is coming from your head or nose, keep moving it downward to get it in your chest.
    • Gently hold your Adam's apple, the bump in in the front and center of your throat, which moves when you swallow. Try moving it downward a quarter of an inch while you speak.
    • Try creating "vocal fry" by making your voice as low as possible and using very little air to push the sound out. This should cause a gravely sound as your vocal folds audibly vibrate.[13]

Method 3
Getting Sick

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    Get a cold. A cold can lead to infection in your upper respiratory tract. This causes swelling of the vocal folds which gives the voice a hoarse effect from laryngitis.[14]
    • The easiest way to catch a cold is to expose yourself to the germs of someone who is already infected.
    • You can't actually catch a cold by making yourself cold. Although, exposing your throat to the cold could make it hoarse.[15]
    • Most colds go away in 7-10 days, but they can be pretty miserable. If the cold does not go away, it may need to be treated with antibiotics.[16]
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    Expose yourself to allergens. Inhaling pollen can inflame your vocal folds. Inflammation in your lungs and nasal drip can cause changes to your voice leaving it hoarse.[17]
    • If you take antihistamines to solve the problem of excess mucus, it could actually dry the protective mucus in your throat leaving your voice even more raspy and hoarse.
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    Use an inhaler too often. People with asthma can treat their symptoms with an inhaler. Using an inhaler over the long term can cause a hoarse voice. Also, repeated dosing can lead to a low-grade yeast infection in the mouth and throat increasing the hoarseness of your voice.[18]
    • Be sure to work with your doctor to find the appropriate dosage.
    • Visit the doctor to treat a yeast infection.


  • If you continue to use your voice or scream or shout or whisper while your throat is burning, callouses and little lumps will form on your vocal chords and cause damage to your voice box.
  • Smoking, creating nodules on your vocal chords and developing other medical issues like colds and thyroid problems are detrimental to your health. Consider these consequences before trying to create a hoarse voice. See your doctor if you are experiencing these health problems.

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Categories: Boredom Busters