COVID patients who report residual voice problems after infection


After the initial stages of Covid-19, some patients have problems with their voice, health experts told Fox News. These voice problems include hoarseness, voice quality, and a condition called voice fatigue, which can affect a person’s quality of life, language experts told Fox News.

“If a patient feels tired after using their voice, they may tend not to want to communicate as often as usual. He may withdraw from social activities as speaking becomes strenuous and no longer pleasant. A patient may not be able to perform their normal duties at work because speaking is too difficult, “said Catherine Crowley, PhD., CCC-SLP, the chair of the Communication Sciences and Disorders School of Health Professions and Nursing The LIU Post in Brookville, NY told Fox News during an interview.

While the study convincingly argues that SARS-CoV-2 infects cells in the mouth, some questions remain unanswered.

Crowley, who is a speech therapist and also an assistant professor at LIU-Post, told Fox News that some patients complain of voice fatigue and speech difficulties (dysphonia) after contracting COVID-19.

According to health experts, symptoms of vocal fatigue can include the feeling of a rasping, tense, or breathy voice in a patient’s voice. Some post-COVID patients may also complain of discomfort while speaking and experience loss of reach or pitch, as well as voice breaks, speech pathologist told Fox News.

Crowley also commented on a report recently published in the Journal of Voice in which a group of Italian researchers examined 160 people infected with Covid-19. The researchers found that nearly 44 percent of patients after COVID-19 had self-assessed mild to moderate dysphonia even though they did not require hospitalization. The study also found that nearly 27 percent of these people reported voice fatigue.


Crowley was not involved in the study, but told Fox News, “Remember, these patients did not require intubation to treat COVID-19. It is believed that after intubation they have a higher prevalence of dysphonia with a correlation between “Duration of Intubation and Severity of Dysphonia”.

Crowley told Fox News that a patient who was incubated while being treated for COVID-19 may be at risk for dysphonia as the intubation can affect the vocal folds.

“Endotracheal intubation can lead to impaired vocal cord closure, which in turn would lead to dysphonia. 19, “Crowley told Fox News.

Portrait of girl covering her mouth, file photo.

Portrait of girl covering her mouth, file photo.

Crowley also warned that people recovering from COVID-19 infections who have not been intubated can experience voice fatigue. She told Fox News that this could occur due to impaired respiratory status, general fatigue, and other underlying medical issues that occur after being infected with the novel coronavirus.

Dr. Ashutosh Kacker is Professor of Clinical ENT and Head and Neck Surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine and the New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell campuses in New York City. Kacker told Fox News, “People with COVID-19 can experience voice changes, including inflammation of the vocal box from the virus itself and coughing, viral injury to the vagus nerve (the nerve that controls the voice box), and being on a ventilator as a result a breathing tube, which can potentially damage the vocal cords, or a tracheotomy (surgical airway).


Kacker hopes language problems will be less common after the COVID-19 infection as we learn more about this virus. “The more serious language problems were more common in the first waves of COVID-19 and are now less common as we better understand how to manage serious COVID-19.” The ENT doctor told Fox News that laryngitis still has that is more common and usually gets better within 10 to 14 days in most patients.

Close up of male mouth and teeth.

Close up of male mouth and teeth.

However, for the patient population experiencing voice problems after COVID-19, speech pathologists have now developed ways to treat patients with voice fatigue and dysphonia.

“Sometimes voice fatigue is related to excessive larynx tension and poor breathing mechanics,” Crowley told Fox News, adding, “Sometimes therapy focuses on relaxing the muscles of the larynx.

The LIU professor told Fox News that patients with dysphonia or voice fatigue should maintain adequate vocal hygiene, and said this may include eliminating screaming or whispering, drinking heavily, and avoiding or minimizing the consumption of caffeine, alcohol, and smoking . Crowley is currently involved in a study at LIU-Post looking at voice fatigue in post-COVID-19 patients.


Health professionals recommend that anyone with voice problems get an exam eEar, nose and throat doctor (ENT) to assess your vocal cords.


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