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Losing My Voice to Asthma

So asthma never fails to surprise me.

The latest “fun” with asthma is that I now lose my voice when I have a severe asthma attack or when I get sick with pneumonia.

It also happens to be my hubby’s favorite time – when I lose my voice! True story. That man is so patient with me, because I LOVE to talk. I just have so many ideas in my head and I need to get them out before I forget!

Losing my voice after an asthma attack

I didn’t always lose my voice with an asthma attack – in fact, this just started a couple of years ago.

When I have a bad asthma attack, it will usually take several hours before my voice comes back. So, I whisper. Which has an interesting effect on everyone around me. I will try to talk to my husband by whispering, and he will whisper back. I’ll say, “You don’t have to whisper just because I am whispering!” He’ll respond with “Oh…..riiiiiight!”

It always picks the worse time to happen – like when I have a full day of presentations and need my voice. It can also make for some interesting meetings at work. I think that’s one of those tricks teachers use – talk softly. People really pay attention to you! (And I think they feel bad for me too!)

When I lose my voice, the worst of my asthma attack is over and I no longer FEEL bad, but I sound bad.

Losing my voice when I get sick

But, when I get sick – it’s a BIG problem. I had bronchitis this spring and knew it was time to see my asthma doc and get some steroids. But – how could I call and make a doctor’s appointment if I couldn’t speak? Hmm.

Well, luckily my daughter was home, but they probably wouldn’t let a teenager make an appointment for her mom. So I had to pull up my husband’s number and hand her my phone. Then I had to whisper instructions to my daughter to tell my husband that I needed to call the asthma doctor and make an appointment.

Did you follow all of that?

Then my husband had to call my daughter and let me know when my appointment was scheduled.

It was fun trying to talk to my asthma doc too! He also listened VERY carefully to everything I said. He had to – he couldn’t hear so he had to stay close and really pay attention to everything I was trying to say.

I’m not sure why I keep losing my voice

Has anyone else had this problem? And is it also your family’s favorite time? When you lose your voice and can’t speak?!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Tlherold
    4 months ago

    I’ve been having this problem too. I ended up going and seeing a specialist for it, and it turns out I have Vocal Cord Dysfunction on top of my asthma.

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    4 months ago

    Hi Tlherold, and thank you for your post. I’m sorry this has happened to you. It can be challenging managing both conditions. I thought you might gain some additional insight by looking over any of these articles that reference vocal cord dysfunction (VCD): I do hope you find the information to be helpful. All the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • gailpearce
    2 years ago

    I have RADS and this is one of the new symptoms I have been having. Sore throat, voice loss. Unfortunately for me no Asthma medications work on me.

  • pc45
    3 years ago

    It was interesting for me to find this today. My asthma too has been changing over the years on how it presents and my voice changing was something new. I do not lose my voice totally, but it will start changing to a very deep hoarse sounding to the point I will whisper at time as I feel like I’m going to lose my voice. We know right away if I wake up with a deep voice to check my peak flows and then take my Pro air. I am a silent asthmatic so it’s signals like this that I pay attention to them before I get worse!

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi pc45 and thanks for sharing your experience with our online community. It sounds like you know your own asthma quite well and have developed a keen sense as to how to take care of yourself. Keep up the good work!!
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • ckratina
    3 years ago

    I start to lose my voice when asthma begins to worsen. After bronchodilator use improves. This is my early warning symptom to take inhaler.

  • LeighR77
    3 years ago

    This happens to me every single time I’m about to flare, I’ve started to use my nebulizer as soon as it starts and am able to calm it back down and regain my ability to speak after a couple of days.

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi LeighR77 and thanks for sharing your experience with the community. It sounds like you have your own symptoms and telltale signs recognized quite well. You must feel good about being able to control your asthma from your own personal warning signs. Keep up the good work, Leon (site moderator)

  • Wsmrn1
    3 years ago

    I lose my voice and the MD’s couldn’t figure out why. They did a laryngascope and couldn’t find anything. I found out on my own, when I had to use my nebulizer.. Shortly after using it, my voice came back! I was still a bit hoarse but I could be understood!

  • Richard Faust
    3 years ago

    Hi Wsmrn1. I guess I’m a little surprised that your doctors didn’t have some suggested causes for you. I did a little bit of research (I need to stress that I am by no means an expert) and found that laryngitis with asthma is usually caused by irritation in the larynx through some sort of toxin, whether allergens or infection, and a corresponding buildup of mucus on the vocal cords to heal the damage. The fact that the mucus is built up to heal the damage helps explain why a person may be feeling better, but have the voice issue. Again, this is a layperson’s explanation and a professional would need to supply a fuller answer. Best, Richard ( Team)

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