What’s going on behind the scenes?
The vocal cords are muscles with a very specialized layer that vibrates against each other to create sound. Anything that disrupts these vibrations results in hoarseness. Hoarseness may be caused by inflammation of the throat, weak muscles in the throat, problems with nerves that control the muscles of the throat, or masses/lesions of the larynx (voice box) and associated structures. Some possible causes include chronic coughing, excessive talking, singing, or yelling, allergies, post-nasal drainage, polyps or nodules on the vocal cords, acid reflux, problems with the nerves that control the vocal cords, tumors, and excessive muscle tension in the neck or throat.
How Tucson ENT can help
In order to differentiate the above causes, an exam with a small, fiberoptic camera passed through the nose may be performed in the office (flexible laryngoscopy). Local anesthesia can be applied in the nose to minimize discomfort prior to the procedure. Hoarseness lasting beyond 2 weeks without resolution deserves appropriate evaluation. Treatment for hoarseness is tailored to the underlying cause and may involve medications for inflammation or infection, surgery to remove lesions of the throat, and speech therapy to strengthen the throat muscles.
to learn more about mouth and throat conditions.