Voice problems are quite common in the general population, from childhood to adulthood, and can have many causes.
Most of us have experienced a hoarse voice lasting for a day to a week in association with the common cold or flu. In these cases a small amount of irritation or swelling in the voice box at the top of the windpipe (immediately behind the Adam’s apple) results in brief changes in the voice, which usually go away quickly.
Other causes of hoarseness may include chronic cough, excess stomach acid washing up to the voice box area (reflux or GERD), allergies, certain medicines, and growths of several types, including polyps. Also, overuse of the voice is a very common cause of hoarseness.
The best method of evaluating disorders of the voice is by a simple office procedure known as video stroboscopy. This procedure utilizes a short videoscope and strobe light while the patient is sitting upright comfortably, similar to a brief dental evaluation. Mountain Regional Ear, Nose and Throat, PA is fortunate to be able to utilize this latest technology to diagnose and treat these complex problems.
Treatment of voice problems may range from a short course of oral antibiotics, speech therapy as prescribed by our physician, medicines to reduce stomach acid, dietary changes, or on occasion an outpatient surgical procedure.