Thursday, May 23, 2024

What Are Voice Disorders? Its Causes And Symptoms

People may have voice disorders for different reasons. For example, doctors specializing in the throat, ear, and nose disorders can diagnose and treat such disorders. A speech pathologist can also diagnose and treat voice disorders. 

Treatment depends on the causes of your voice disorder. Many treatments include surgery, voice therapy, injections, and medications. If you have the symptoms of voice disorder, consult your doctor and take timely treatment.

Causes

A human voice box is made up of mucous membranes, cartilage, and muscles. You can call vocal cords two flexible bands made up of muscle tissue. These vocal cords are present at the windpipe entrance. When these vocal cords vibrate, you hear a sound.

Air moves through the area of the larynx that creates vibration in the vocal cords. These vocal cords are involved in closing your voice box when you start swallowing. It prevents you from inhaling certain liquids and foods. 

If vocal cords are paralyzed, inflamed, or develop certain growths, they fail to perform proper functions. In this case, people may have a voice disorder. Some voice disorders include Laryngitis, white patches that refer to leukoplakia, muscle tension dysphonia, and vocal cord paralysis.

Other examples of voice disorders are polyps, neurological voice disorders, and cysts. People may also have nodules. 

Symptoms

People may have certain symptoms with voice disorders. These symptoms are: 

  • Choppy or strained sound
  • Having a sound that is quivering
  • Being breathy and whispery
  • Sound harsh 
  • Change in pitch

Causes/Risk Factors

Many causes and risk factors can lead to voice disorders, including aging, alcohol use, smoking, allergies, psychological stress, Gastroesophageal reflux disease, screaming, neurological disorder, illnesses, improper clearing of throat, voice misuse, and throat cancer.

Moreover, thyroid issues and scarring from trauma and neck surgery can cause voice disorders. Throat dehydration can also lead to disorders of the voice.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will get a detailed medical history from you regarding your voice issues. For example, he may apply a topical anesthetic to numb your vocal cord tissues. Your doctor can examine your vocal cords using certain tools that are a mirror, video stroboscope, and flexible laryngoscope.

He may also use a rigid laryngoscope and sound analysis, and laryngeal electromyography to detect voice disorders.

Treatment

Your doctor can recommend you one or paired treatments depending on your condition and the cause of the disorder.

Rest, Voice Therapy, And Liquids

Vocal cords require rest regularly like your other body parts. Speech pathologists guide you to use your voice effectively through voice therapy. They tell you how to clear your throat properly and how much amount of liquids you should drink.

Allergy Treatments

An allergy specialist or your doctor can examine and identify the cause of the allergy if the allergy is causing issues in your throat. 

Smoking

Quitting the habit of smoking is helpful to treat the issues of voice if they appear due to smoking. Smoking usage can also disrupt other areas of health, like can cause cancer and heart diseases.

Medications

To treat the disorder of voice, different medications are available. For example, your doctor may prescribe you medication to decrease inflammation. However, it depends on the cause of voice disorder. Medicines help to treat the regrowth of blood vessels and gastroesophageal reflux.

You can take medicines orally, or a doctor can inject these medicines into your vocal cords. In severe cases, your doctor can recommend surgery. 

Bulk Injections

Hyaluronic gel, body fat, and collagen can be injected to treat voice disorders. Doctors inject these substances through your mouth or your neck’s skin. 

The material works to fill the space present next to your vocal cords. It pushes one vocal cord closer to another. These vocal cords then vibrate closely and produce the proper sound. 

Thyroplasty

A small opening can be created in the cartilage from your voice box’s outside area. Doctors try to insert an implant using the opening and then push it against your paralyzed vocal cord. Then, the doctor moves one vocal cord closer to another.

Replacement Of Damaged Nerve

A healthy nerve moves from certain neck areas in this procedure. It moves to replace your damaged vocal cord. You may feel improvement in the voice in the time duration of six to nine months. Some doctors use this procedure with bulk injections to get more effective results.

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