Morning Hoarse Voice Treatments, Causes, Prevention

Nobody likes to hear their hoarse morning voice. And everyone knows that drinking water does nothing to get rid of it. However, talking a lot in the morning will make the hoarseness go away faster.

The morning hoarse voice occurs to even the healthiest, non-smoking individuals.

Steven Y. Park, MD, explains what causes that annoying hoarse morning voice. It is because the juices from your stomach give your throat a nice little bath. “The simplest way to prevent this or lessen the severity is to eat dinner early (go to bed no earlier than 3-4 hours after eating.),” notes Dr. Park, author of the book, “Sleep, Interrupted: A Physician Reveals The #1 Reason Why So Many Of Us Are Sick And Tired.”

Dr. Park further explains: “Residual stomach juices can leak up into the throat while sleeping. Also, the same applies to alcohol, since alcohol relaxes your muscles, and your juices can come up more easily. It also relaxes your tongue muscles, which can cause you to stop breathing and wake up, which not only causes poor sleep, but also forcefully suctions your stomach juices up into your throat. All humans are susceptible to this phenomenon to various degrees."

Here is what another ear, nose and throat doctor says: “Morning hoarseness may be caused by mucus accumulation on the vocal cords, and drying of the mucosa (lining) of the vocal cords,” points out Mark Persky, MD, Professor and Chairman, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Beth Israel Medical Center.

Morning hoarseness “may be made worse by snoring and during dry weather conditions,” says Dr. Persky. Why won’t drinking water help mitigate the problem? Dr. Persky explains it’s “because the swallowing anatomy is separate from the airway where the vocal cords are located. Eventually, fluids absorbed by the body will help hoarseness if it is secondary to drying of the mucosa, although the response will be delayed.”

Is there anything you can do to prevent a morning hoarse voice? No. You can, however, minimize the degree of morning hoarse voice with a humidifier, which will help vocal cords retain some moistness overnight. 

And of course, avoid the liquor in the evening. Alcohol causes you to lose fluids. Also avoid caffeine for the same reason.

In the morning, says Dr. Persky, “Gently clearing the throat of any mucus accumulation will help as well as taking fluids, which will eventually ease vocal dryness.” Fluids will moisten the vocal cords which have dried overnight, as the body absorbs these fluids. This will not be an immediate response, as many would like to believe.

“Gargling with a mild saltwater solution will also sooth the throat and help to clear mucus,” Dr. Persky says. Try all of these remedies and see if they don’t help get rid of some of that morning hoarse voice.

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