Avatar universal

Vocal Hoarseness/Trouble swallowing/Choking

How common is vocal hoarseness in MS? Does it go away? My voice has become very hoarse/low in the past few days, which is something I've only experienced once before (after surgery, because that tube was down my throat). Also, I'm having a hard time swallowing liquids, particularly water.

No matter how hard I try to swallow correctly, some water feels like it's going down the wrong tube and I start coughing/choking on it. I'm hoping its allergies or laryngitis or something, which I've never had, but I can only imagine could feel like this. Thanks!
6 Responses
Avatar universal
Also- I'm feeling out of breath. Whatever sentences I can get out, I have to pause every few words and take a breath. Annoying.
987762 tn?1331027953
I don't think you should even be speculating on if your hoarseness, trouble swallowing water, and being out of breath whilst speaking for the last couple of days, has anything what so ever to do with MS or not. Even people who are diagnosed with MS get sick, have allergies etc.....

"Laryngitis. Laryngitis is one of the most common causes of hoarseness. It can be due to temporary swelling of the vocal folds from a cold, an upper respiratory infection, or allergies. "


A few days, could even be some thing as simple as temporary strained vocal cords. I really wouldn't be assuming there could be anything more to it at this stage, because it's honestly just more likely something common than something like MS. Try small sips and tipping your chin down when you swallow, rest your voice for a few days and if you start experiencing additional symptoms (eg cough, soar throat etc) consider seeing your doctor.  


Avatar universal
Two and a half weeks later, and I'm still having trouble speaking, losing my breath and choking on water. No other allergy/respiratory symptoms. Will probably go to the doctor later this week if it continues, which I think it will.

Thanks for your response, although it didn't really address my original questions.
987762 tn?1331027953
"Thanks for your response, although it didn't really address my original questions."

Q: "How common is vocal hoarseness in MS?"
A:  Technically speech disorders fall under the heading Dysarthria but MS statistics don't specifically separate Dysphonia (hoarseness) from the totality of speech disorders, which is 35-40% at some time during the course of RRMS. Keep in mind that those statistics include the other more common MS speech issue eg Dysarthria (scanning speech pattern), so Dysphonia alone would only be a fraction of the 35-40%.  

You are actually talking about experiencing 2 incomplete issues, incomplete because you are not additionally describing any thing else that is usually accompanying the MS speech issues.

Dysphagia = swallowing issues  
Dysphonia = vocal changes ie hoarseness, tone, breathy, or whispery

Q: "Does it go away?"
A: It honestly depends on the specific issue and causation, in MS there are varying causes of Dysarthria, many are related to lesion damage but there are non lesion based causes that MSers 'could be' additionally experiencing eg medication side effects -dry mouth, fatigue, behavioural, environmental, thrush, GORD etc etc etc.

Speech issues like many other MS dysfunctions will 'general' come and go but some specific speech and more specifically swallowing issues, are considered to be more of a late stage or advanced MS issue, and recovery becomes less likely.

If you are only chocking when drinking "water" it is less likely to be the same as true Dysphasia or being related to the MS speech issues, because nothing related to late stage MS is usually incomplete or isolated to only water......


Avatar universal
Hi, I have MS and my main symptoms are fatigue and hoarseness. I also have swallowing issues that come and go and shortness of breathe. When I have swallowing issues I have to eat puréed food and also go to a speech pathologist to get checked out. This is very frustrating I know. But the longest I've had to do this was 6 mos. and I am thankful it is not worse. It makes you enjoy food more when you can eat......
1831849 tn?1383228392
Hi M

Have yo been diagnosed with MS? If so, ***  it attacks the central nervous system it can wreak havoc almost anywhere, including your voice/throat.

If not, what other symptoms would lead you to think MS?

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