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Laryngeal voice disorders

Laryngeal Voice Disorders

 Human voice is produced as the air passes from the lungs through the larynx and makes the vocal cords, two bands of muscle, vibrate. A number of behavioral habits can produce laryngeal voice disorders, most commonly:

  • Screaming
  • Excessive talking
  • Smoking
  • Constantly clearing the throat

In the background of the most frequent laryngeal voice disorders and problems we may also find several medical conditions:

  • Nodules
  • Polypslaryngeal-voice-disorders_Small
  • Sores infection
  • Virus
  • Cancer
  • Paralysis

Some common signs of voice injury are:

  • Hoarse or raspy voice
  • Inability to hit higher notes when singing
  • Sudden deeper voice
  • Raw, achy or strained feeling in the throat
  • Difficulty talking

Treatment for laryngeal voice disorders depends on the cause and the stage of the disorder. Most of them can be successfully treated if diagnosed early.


Common Laryngeal Voice Disorders

An otolaryngologist is the medical specialist who takes care of most laryngeal voice disorders. The diagnostic tests most typically involve laryngoscopy and neck ultrasound.

The most common conditions are:

  • Acute laryngitis – starts suddenly due to a viral infection, which causes swelling of the vocal cords. Its treatment is usually two-fold:  hydration and resting.
  • Chronic laryngitis – can be caused by acid reflux disease, smoking, and some low grade infections (i.e. yeast infection).
  • Laryngopharyngeal reflux disease (LPRD) – hoarseness, swallowing problems, lump sensation, and throat pain can go along gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • Voice misuse/overuse – excessively loud, prolonged, inefficient voice use can lead to injuries.
  • Benign vocal cord lesions – they are non-cancerous growths on the vocal cords due to misuse of the voice and may also lead to hoarseness. Polyps, nodules and cysts are common culprits behind laryngeal voice disorders. They are highly treatable and intervention requires microsurgical procedures and voice therapy.
  • Vocal cord hemorrhage – can lead to sudden loss of voice. It results from blood vessel ruptures, which cover the vocal cords in blood. It requires urgent intervention.
  • Vocal cord paralysis and paresis – it may evolve due to viral infections, after surgery in the neck, or from a tumor growing around the laryngeal nerves.

Laryngeal cancer – it is a serious condition, which requires urgent medical attention as it can be cured at early stages.

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