Voice-loss scare in Kolkata Covid survivors temporary, assure doctors – Times of India

Kolkata News
KOLKATA: Numerous Covid survivors across the city have reported a partial or complete loss in voice, which has been leaving them panicky. Doctors have said that this often happens following Covid-induced larynx infection, and assured that this was completely reversible.
The condition — in which many others are suffering from hoarseness of voice, following Covid-induced lung fibrosis — and some eventually suffering a complete loss of speech for weeks, is not directly caused by Covid, but because the disease is making them susceptible to larynx infections, said experts.

“Even though Covid-triggered lung fibrosis is not responsible for voice loss, some are suffering a larynx infection, which is affecting their voice. It’s leaving them choked and unable to speak but it is unlikely to cause any long-term damage,” said Raja Dhar, director of pulmonology, CMRI Hospital, adding, “Most have regained their voice in a fortnight to three weeks.”
Singer-composer Bappi Lahiri had apparently lost his voice temporarily after a Covid attack last April.
While Covid mostly affects the lower respiratory system, in some cases it has been playing up in the upper respiratory tract, too, pointed out Sauren Panja, intensivist, RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences (RTIICS). “Consequently, it has been triggering laryngopharyngitis, or a simultaneous inflammation of the larynx and the pharynx. The larynx corresponds to the voice box — the air released from it activates the latter — and once it struggles to expel air due to the inflammation, the voice turns slow and low. For some, it has been quite acute, resulting in almost a complete loss of speech,” he explained.
This has been happening between the first and third weeks of the Covid attack and may persist for up to three months, experts said. But it hasn’t yet caused complete loss of voice in any case. “It does trigger a panic among patients and their families. It has also made the affected patients depressed, with some even requiring counselling,” Panja said.
Another reason behind a sudden loss of voice post-Covid is a lung infection. “The lung capacity decreases, so speaking turns laboured and slow. At times, these patients find it difficult to speak at all, and we advise them to take breaks while speaking. It improves with time as the infection gets cured,” said Panja.
This is being referred to as the “Covid-19 voice” or hoarseness, which has been very common among patients across the world, physicians said.
Internal medicine consultant Arindam Biswas pointed out that Covid has also been leading to an inflammation of the vocal cord muscles, causing voice change or loss. “Apart from laryngopharyngitis, this also affects the voice, often making it squeaky or hoarse. Covid medicines, including steroids, are enough to treat the inflammation; once it subsides, the voice is regained. But it has been giving scares to many,” he added.
Covid, however, is not directly responsible, Dhar said. “It merely makes the lungs susceptible to infection, leading to such a condition. But the virus mostly affects the lower respiratory system, which is why the number of such patients is not big.”
Others, like Panja, however, argued that loss or alteration of voice may also occur due to something called “post-infection chronic fatigue syndrome.” “General fatigue and lack of energy may also affect the voice, making it very low,” he said.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/voice-loss-scare-in-kolkata-covid-survivors-temporary-assure-docs/articleshow/86541324.cms