Hoarseness & Voice Disorders

Lakeshore Ear, Nose & Throat Center

Ear, Nose & Throat Doctors located in St. Clair Shores, Macomb Township, Rochester Hills, Grosse Pointe, and Sterling Heights, MI

Your voice is your primary communication tool and an integral part of your identity, so losing it to hoarseness or a voice disorder can be incredibly frustrating. The team at Lakeshore Ear, Nose & Throat Center manages the Lakeshore Professional Voice Center in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, led by laryngologist Adam D. Rubin, MD, a longtime professional actor and singer. Call today for a consultation with Dr. Rubin and his team, or book an appointment online today for expert voice treatment.

Hoarseness & Voice Disorders Q & A

What are common voice disorders?

Several voice disorders and larynx conditions can cause hoarseness and loss of voice, including:

Vocal fold lesions

Nodules, cysts, and polyps impair the vibration and closure of your vocal fold and can be caused by a virus, vocal trauma, or misuse.

 

Reinke’s edema

The skin just below the vocal fold is called Reinke’s space. It can fill with fluid following trauma or inflammation. The fluid can take a jelly-like consistency, causing the vocal folds to become more prominent and heavier, which lowers the pitch of your voice.

Scars and sulcus

A sulcus is a shallow groove in the vocal cords that may not cause a voice disorder but can become deeper and cause other problems. Scar tissue on the vocal cords is typically the result of vocal trauma.

Vocal fold paralysis and paresis

Your vocal cords may become paralyzed following surgery, lung cancer, or certain cardiovascular and neurological diseases. One or both of your vocal folds can be affected, and the loss of movement in your vocal folds leads to a breathy, quiet voice.

Aging voice

Presbyphonia and presbylaryngis, the medical terms for the thinning and weakening of your vocal cords that occurs as you age, cause your voice to become weaker and breathy.

How are voice disorders treated?

The team of expert laryngologists at Lakeshore help professional actors and singers as well as everyday people who are losing their voices. They offer a wide range of treatments, including:

  • Videostroboscopy: an imaging technique that allows your doctor to monitor the vibratory characteristics and structure of your vocal cords
  • Voice therapy: a program of behavior and lifestyle changes to strengthen and protect your voice by eliminating harmful behaviors and encouraging exercises and practices to support your vocal folds
  • Computerized voice analysis: uses recordings of your voice to assess qualitative and quantitative measures to set goals and monitor progress
  • Singing voice therapy: specialized therapy to help singers recover from voice disorders and preserve their singing voices
  • Surgical procedures: remove specific lesions and repair the delicate architecture of your vocal folds using traditional surgical techniques or laser treatments
  • Awake laryngeal procedures: some procedures, like injections to strengthen the vocal folds or laser treatments to remove lesions, are delivered while you're awake or under mild sedation
  • Botox® injections: used to treat spasmodic dysphonia, tremors, and chronic coughs by relaxing spasming muscles around your vocal folds

 

How can I protect my voice?

Your voice is a critical communication tool, and if you use your voice professionally as a singer, actor, pastor, or teacher, it’s also your livelihood. You can protect your voice by resting it and avoiding overuse or the extremes of your vocal range. You can also work with a voice or singing specialist to train and strengthen your voice.

For help with any vocal issues, call Lakeshore Ear, Nose & Throat Center or schedule a consultation online today.

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