Occasionally we all may suffer from voice problems. A hoarse or raspy voice can arise from overuse, screaming or irritants in the air. Viral or bacterial infections from lead to inflammation causing temporary laryngitis – inflammation of the larynx (voice box). In a short amount of time, your voice is normal again.
However, some voice disorders may be a sign of a more serious underlying medical condition requiring medical attention and treatment. Note, if hoarseness lasts more than 3 weeks, you should consult your physician.
Voice disorders include:
- Spasmodic dysphonia – A chronic disorder in which vocal cord movement is strained and forced, which causes a quivering voice that might be hoarse, tight, or groaning. The condition often benefits from Botox injections; this relaxes the laryngeal muscles which allow the vocal cords and voice to function more normally.
- Vocal cord polyps and nodules – Are benign (non-cancerous) growths that appear on the vocal cords. These nodules and polyps are normally treated with medications and voice rest to reduce the size. Sometimes surgery is used to biopsy or remove the growth.
- Vocal cord paralysis – Is when one or both vocal cords are unable to vibrate, causing voice, breathing and swallowing difficulties. Medications, injections, and surgery are all treatment options. Speech therapy can improve your pitch, projection of sound and improve both breathing and swallowing.
- Paradoxical vocal fold movement – Vocal cords will close when ideally hey should open causing speech and breathing difficulty. Stress, coughing, shouting, acid reflux, exercise, cold air, pollen and other irritants can cause this condition. Relaxation training can help relieve the problem, as can medication. Avoiding triggers – like shouting – is also helpful.
Speech therapy, medications, lifestyle changes and various medical and surgical interventions to address the underlying cause are all options to start treating your voice problem. It is important to consult your physician, who with the assistance of a detailed history and physical examination can more appropriately address your condition.
Contact our office:
To find out more about our Voice Issues/Dysphonia services, visit Dr. Friedman’s office locations at 7600 E. Camelback Road, Suite #7, Scottsdale, Arizona 85251 and 903 East Highway 260, Suite #3, Payson, Arizona 85541, or book an appointment by calling 480-664-0125 today.