Hoarse? Have you lost your singing voice?

2984281As human beings, we depend on our voice box to interact with one another. Our larynx or “voice box” lies in the neck and contains the vocal cords. Upper respiratory infections, congestion, phlegm or silent reflux can disrupt the delicate parts of the larynx and may lead to hoarseness. Polyps, vocal cord cancerous and non-cancerous growths can also lead to a change in voice. If you have noticed an alteration in your voice you should seek consultation with an ear, nose and throat specialist.

When I see a patient with hoarseness an integral part of my exam is a real time evaluation of the voice box. Using either a special mirror or a flexible scope I look at the vocal cords while I ask the patient to sing and speak. Once the exam is done I develop a comprehensive voice plan which may involve dietary, lifestyle changes, medicines or surgical intervention as needed.

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