Boris Johnson voice ‘croaking’ – what can a croaky voice be a sign of?


Watchers of PMQs were eager to hear what Prime Minister (PM) Boris Johnson had to say for himself following the Owen Paterson scandal. But Twitter users became particularly concerned over the Conservative leader’s voice after hearing him speak. One Twitter user said: “Boris Johnson is croaking, his voice is pretty rough too.” Another commented: “Jeepers biggest question for @BorisJohnson is will his voice hold up??” 

The Mayo Clinic states: “Nearly everyone has experienced or will experience hoarseness in their life, whether the result of a cold or too much cheering at a sports event.

“Usually, the problem goes away after several days with self-care and by resting your voice.” 

But it does say hoarseness can become more than a temporary annoyance.

It advises if you experience persistent hoarseness that hasn’t gotten better after two weeks, to see a doctor.


A hoarse voice can be a sign of laryngitis – when the voice box or vocal cords in the throat become irritated or swollen.

It usually goes away by itself within one to two weeks, says the NHS, and may be accompanied by losing your voice, an irritating cough that doesn’t go away and a sore throat.

Laryngitis is often linked to other illnesses, such as colds and flu.

You don’t need to see a GP, but the health body says it may help to speak as little as possible, to drink plenty of fluids and to keep the air moist by putting out bowls of water – central heating and air conditioning make the air dry.

“The main symptom of laryngeal cancer is having a hoarse voice for more than three weeks,” says the NHS.

Other symptoms of laryngeal cancer include:

  • pain when swallowing or difficulty swallowing
  • a lump or swelling in your neck
  • a long-lasting cough or breathlessness
  • a persistent sore throat or earache
  • a high-pitched wheezing noise when you breathe
  • in severe cases, difficulty breathing

It’s most likely these symptoms are caused by laryngitis, but it’s always a good idea to get them checked out.

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