Throat and Voice Center
Thank you for choosing Ear, Nose & Throat Surgical Center of Laurel to serve your Throat and Voice healthcare needs. Experience our state-of-the-art and comprehensive medical care with excellence.
Voice is the sound made by air passing from your lungs through your larynx, or voice box. Voice is produced as speech, laughing, singing, crying, or in an infant’s cooing. For most of us, our voices play a big role in who we are, what we do and how we communicate. Like fingerprints, each person’s voice is unique.
Approximately 7.5 million people in the US have trouble using their voice. Disorders of the voice involve problems with pitch, volume and quality. Many things that we do can injure our vocal cords causing hoarseness, including: talking too much, screaming, constantly clearing the throat, singing, or smoking.
At ENT Surgical Center of Laurel, we are specialized in diagnosing disorders of the voice. Treatment varies depending upon the cause of the problem. We work in conjunction with local speech pathologists to teach you how to use your voice correctly. Although many voice problems are difficult to diagnose and treat, often an early diagnosis and treatment can help you get back into your normal routine quickly. Your voice is a big part of your daily life and we thank you for choosing us to help take care of it.
Our physicians at ENT Physicians are experts at diagnosis and treatment of these disorders and can recommend appropriate treatment for you. Whether the ultimate treatment is medical therapy, working with a qualified speech pathologist, surgery to treat or remove a lesion on the vocal cord, or treatment of a cancerous lesion, you can trust us to find the most appropriate course of action for your problem.
Conditions We Treat
- Laryngitis acute and chronic
- GERD / LPR
- Chronic cough
- Vocal cord nodules
- Vocal cord lesions
- Vocal cord paralysis
- Throat cancer
- Vocal cord papillomas, cyst, lesion, polyp (pdf)
- Swallowing disorders
- Sore throats
- Throat pain
- Taste disorder
- Foreign Body
- Spasmodic Dysphonia
- Vocal Strain from poor speaking technique or overuse
- Chronic Post Nasal Drainage
Procedures and Treatments
- Tongue suspension
- Submandibular gland excision
A common cause of chronic hoarseness is chronic laryngitis. Although often treated as a bacterial infection for a long time, infection is a very uncommon cause of chronic hoarseness. Chronic laryngitis can be caused by a number of things including smoking, acid reflux (GERD), postnasal drainage, allergies, and as a result of other chronic autoimmune diseases. The cause of chronic laryngitis is often very difficult to determine.
Patients with chronic laryngitis may also suffer from other symptoms such as chronic cough, as well as other swallowing problems and sore throat. Treatment is usually directed at identifying and treating the underlying cause.
Chronic cough can come from many causes. It can be a side effect of certain medications called ACE inhibitors (commonly use to treat high blood pressure), post nasal drainage, allergic rhinitis, asthma, chronic sinus infections, acid reflux and other more obscure causes. Our physicians will work with you to identify the underlying cause of your cough and work with you on appropriate measures to help diminish or alleviate the problem.
Vocal Cord Lesions
The vocal cords are a specialized tissue made for the primary purpose of generating sound when they are vibrated. Anything which can disrupt the normal vibration of the vocal cords can cause a change in the quality or character of the voice. This can come in the form of growths on the vocal cords. Whether it is calluses in the form of vocal nodules, cysts which often grow inside the vocal cord, polyps which grow off the surface of the vocal cord, or cancerous lesions, voice disturbances are sometimes due to these problems physically disrupting normal vocal cord vibration.
While not a universal statement, surgery is often required for treatment of these lesions. Our physicians will work with you to find the most appropriate treatment for your problem.
Vocal Cord Nodules
Vocal Nodules are one of the more common causes of hoarseness. They are calluses that form on the vocal cords as a result of misuse or abuse of the vocal cords. They are like calluses on the hands and feet that come from excessive abrasive forces. Vocal nodules often lead to a voice that is of a raspy quality. In a dinger, they may lead to a narrowed vocal register, especially in the upper register (in the higher range of your voice).
Vocal Nodules are often the result of excessive clearing of the throat, incorrect speech/singing technique or do work in a loud environment requiring someone to raise their voice excessively. Nodules are usually treated by nonsurgical methods and most often respond very well with complete resolution of the problem under the direction of a qualified speech pathologist.
Surgery on vocal nodules is used as a last resort and often directed at possible underlying problems such as a cyst or other irregularity that may be present on the vocal cord causing the excessive friction on the area.