Why did I lose my voice?

So I worked the Renessaince Faire this past weekend, and it involved lots and lots of shouting. Today I can only speak in a thin raspy voice (if at all) and I’m curious how this happens? What’s preventing me from speaking normally?

Note, this is NOT a request for any medical advice, it’s a general question: What actually happens to when some one “loses their voice” from too much yelling / cheering / etc?

Thanks in advance!!

Here’s a Wikipedia article on vocal loading. When I looked up “laryngitis,” one of the causes listed was “overuse” and this is the article that link went to.

Thanks Knead, but that link doesn’t do much beyond listing the symptoms.

Unlike other ‘strains’, there’s no pain or really any discomfort at all. I just can’t make my voice work. What’s the difference between ‘vocal strain’ and ‘eye strain’, or even a pulled hamstring? Aren’t they all over-stressed muscles?

Sorry, I rushed that a bit. I’ve had some pretty serious problems with my voice over the past few years, so I know a little more than the average bear about it. Regular old acute laryngitis due to overuse is, as I understand it, simple inflamation. In other words, swelling.

The vocal cords and their related tissues literally get slammed together thousands of times per second when you speak, and overdoing it leads to swollen, less flexible tissues, with the result that your voice doesn’t work right. The vocal cords themselves aren’t muscles, exactly, but they are, of course, controlled by muscles. As I understand it, the real damage in acute laryngitis is to the vocal cords themselves.

Standard disclaimer, not a doctor, yadda. I’m sure an expert will elucidate much better than I can. :slight_smile: