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Voice Problems

Talking can be more difficult if you are breathless. Your voice might sound weak, quiet, rough or hoarse. You may have a sore throat if you have been coughing a lot. You are more likely to have these problems if you needed a breathing tube in hospital.

Breathing is very important to enable us to speak in a clear voice that can be easily heard and understood by others. You may feel that your voice is weak and your speech is not as clear as it used to be. This should improve as your symptoms resolve.

In the meantime, make sure you do not whisper, shout or strain your voice and drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. 

Try to avoid too much caffeine and alcohol as these will have a drying effect on your voice.  You may need to say fewer words on each breath.

Should your voice problems persist for several weeks, please contact your GP who may arrange for you to be assessed by an Ear Nose and Throat doctor and a Speech and Language Therapist.

If you are finding your communication difficult the following may help:

  • Make sure you are in a quiet environment and reduce distractions and background noise.
  • Have important conversations when you are most alert, and take breaks in between conversations.
  • Plan what you want to say, make a note of key words or topics so you don’t forget. 
  • Repeating things back to yourself can help with your memory.
  • Take your time, don’t worry if you can’t remember the names for things – describe them instead, thinking of what it looks like, what you use if for, where you would find it.