Will my voice go back to normal after I stop smoking?

Smoking can be a cause of voice change, specifically deepening and hoarseness. Voice change may indicate a need to follow up with your doctor. Two common causes of voice changes as a result of smoking include Reinke’s edema and cancer of the vocal cords. Reinke’s edema is caused by increased fluid in the upper layer covering the vocal cords and can lead to lower voice and raspiness; it can also lead to shortness of breath if the swelling becomes severe.  If the case is mild, it can improve if you quit smoking, but some cases require surgery. Any smoker who has a hoarse voice for more than one to two weeks should have his or her vocal cords checked by a doctor because of the risk of cancer.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Whether your voice goes back to normal after you quit smoking depends on how damaged your vocal cords are. Many changes, such as hoarseness due to dryness and inflammation, should be reversible. Once you quit smoking, the air and blood flow to your vocal cords will normalize and you should begin to sound like normal. To help things along, drink plenty of water to keep your vocal cords moist.

If you developed polyps, lesions or tumors on your vocal cords, you should see a doctor who specializes in ear, nose and throat care. You may need to have the tumors removed before your voice will change back to the way it was.
Most of the body’s functions may improve once you quit smoking. The amount of improvement depends on a variety of factors including any smoking-related damage that is permanent or that plays a part in how your voice sounds, such as decreased lung function. 
 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.