Do Thyroid Issues Affect Voice Characteristics?

Research has shown that disorders of the thyroid gland can affect the voice quality. The thyroid gland plays an important role in your overall health. Thyroid gland disorders include both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

What are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is caused when the thyroid gland does not produce sufficient hormones. On the other hand, hyperthyroidism is caused by an excess production of thyroid hormones in the body.

How do thyroid issues affect voice characteristics?

Thyroid hormones play a major role in determining voice characteristics and an unbalanced production of such hormones can lead to phonation disturbances.

  • Hypothyroidism – One of the well-known symptoms of hypothyroidism is change in voice of an individual. Thyroid hormone receptors are present in the larynx, i.e., thyroid hormones acts on the laryngeal tissue. Lack of sufficient production of thyroid hormones leads to changes in voice characteristics like low voice, roughness and reduced voice range. Hypothyroidism can also cause vocal fatigue.
  • Hyperthyroidism – Unlike in hypothyroidism, vocal changes in case of hyperthyroidism is not easily identifiable. But the consequences are severe. Hyperthyroidism leads to reduction in fundamental frequency of the voice. It also causes hoarseness and roughness in voice, as well as trembling voice and reduced intensity of voice. An excess production of thyroid hormones can even lead to loss of voice.
  • Untreated thyroid issues and disruptions in functions of the parathyroid glands can lead to dysphonia in patients. This is because untreated thyroid gland diseases cause voice and acoustic disruptions which can worsen over time.

Sometimes medical professionals give the following advise to cure voice problems from thyroid:

  • Surgery to cure thyroid problems-However, such surgeries have a risk of injuring the recurrent laryngeal nerve leading to vocal cord paralysis and even permanent dysphonia.
  • Medications to control functioning of thyroid gland- This in turn helps with voice problems arising from thyroid malfunctioning.