What really happens when you lose your voice?

Is it just that the vocal cords have dried out? If so, is that why tea/water/steam are recommended as cures? I lost my voice a few days ago, starting after a night of karaoke. I’d been singing at chorus rehearsal for a while earlier that day, so I thought my voice was just worn out maybe. So, what actually physically happens when you “lose your voice?”

IAMAD, but from what I’ve seen it’s sort of a trauma in your throat and larynx, and it needs time to heal. I think the fluids you mentioned are soothing and of course they will keep the area moist.

I’ve thought about this lately because my elderly mom just had surgery and the tube they put down her throat while she was under anesthesia left her with some visible damage in the back of the throat (I saw dried blood spots–sorry if this is TMI), and she coughed a lot too. She lost her voice for a day or so but it came back after she kept pushing fluids and resting.

My uncle was not so fortunate; he had so many surgeries and so many tubes down his throat that he eventually couldn’t speak in any more than a whisper.

I’m talking about older folks here, though, and I’m sure you’re a lot more resilient!