A doctor that specializes in treating voice loss is known as an otolaryngologist (or ENT, short for Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist). An otolaryngologist can diagnose the cause of voice loss and develop a treatment plan.
Common causes of voice loss include: laryngitis, vocal cord strain and dysphonia. Laryngitis is an inflammation of the vocal cords that can be caused by allergies, smoking, gastric reflux (GERD), infections, or overuse/strain of the voice.
Vocal cord strain is an injury to the vocal folds due to excessive speaking, yelling, or singing. Dysphonia is a disruption in the regular movement of the vocal cords that can be caused by neurological disorders, vocal fold lesions, and vocal fold paralysis.
Otolaryngologists use a variety of techniques to diagnose the cause of voice loss and will then develop the appropriate treatment plan. This may include vocal therapy techniques, such as vocal exercises and vocal hygiene, as well as medications or surgery.
In rare cases, if the cause is neurological, a neurologist may also be consulted.
What kind of doctor should I see for my voice?
If you’re looking for a doctor to help with your voice, you should seek out an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) specialist. An ENT is a doctor specialized in diagnosing and treating medical conditions of the ear, nose, throat, head and neck, which includes disorders of the voice, airway, and swallowing.
ENTs help to identify the underlying cause of any vocal problems and provide the necessary treatment. In most cases, a simple office visit to an ENT specialist is sufficient to diagnose and treat common vocal problems.
Your ENT can assess the condition of your vocal cords, identify underlying issues, and provide the appropriate treatment, such as medication, therapeutic exercises and/or surgery, to help restore your voice.
What kind of doctor treats voice problems?
A laryngologist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of voice disorders. This includes any disorder, difficulty, or abnormality of the vocal cords and larynx, which is located in the throat and is the organ responsible for producing sound.
Laryngologists are experts in identifying disorders that cause speech impairments, hoarseness, and inability to produce sound. They specialize in identifying and treating a wide range of conditions, from vocal cord paralysis tocancer of the larynx and vocal cords.
A laryngologist may use various tools, such as microscopes, lasers, and endoscopes, to diagnose and treat vocal cord conditions. They may also consult and refer to other medical professionals in order to get the best treatment and care.
What are the 4 types of voice disorders?
Voice disorders can be broadly categorized into four distinct types: organic, neurogenic, functional, and laryngeal neuropathy.
Organic voice disorders are those caused by physical changes in the structures of the larynx, such as vocal nodules, polyps, vocal cord paralysis, and other structural abnormalities. These changes in the anatomy of the larynx cause deviations in voice quality, vocal intensity, pitch, and vocal range.
Neurogenic voice disorders are caused by damage to or dysfunction of the nerves in the vocal tract, such as bilateral recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis and muscular spastic dysphonia. These disorders can cause limited vocal range, hoarseness, a blurred articulation of speech, and difficulty producing specific sounds.
Functional voice disorders are caused by changes in the use of the larynx, such as incorrect muscle tension, vocal strain, and vocal misuse. These disorders can cause changes in voice intensity, volume, and pitch, as well as problems with articulation and breath support.
Finally, laryngeal neuropathy is a complex disorder that involves a combination of neural, muscular, and structural abnormalities. These problems can cause difficulty sustaining sounds, changes in vocal quality, and poorer intelligibility of speech.
In summary, the four main types of voice disorders are organic, neurogenic, functional, and laryngeal neuropathy. While specific symptoms vary depending on the type of disorder, they can cause changes in voice quality, volume, and pitch, and problems with articulation and breath support.
When should you see an ENT for the voice?
If you’re experiencing any issues with your voice over a lengthy period of time, it would be wise to see an ENT (ear, nose, and throat specialist). This type of medical professional is trained to treat any issues related to the throat, larynx, and vocal cords which could affect the quality of your voice.
This could include anything from a hoarse voice, a loss of your voice, recurrent laryngitis, or feeling like your voice has a strained or raspy quality when you talk. Additionally, ENTs are also knowledgeable about conditions that might lead to voice changes, including allergies, acid reflux, or nodules on your vocal cords.
If you’re struggling with any issues related to your voice, it’s best to schedule an appointment with an ENT to get a professional opinion and develop a treatment plan that best fits your needs.
Can an ENT help with voice?
Yes, an ENT (ear, nose, and throat specialist) can help with voice issues. ENTs are medical specialists trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of ailments related to the head, neck, and throat. These specialists are uniquely trained to assess and diagnose conditions related to the vocal cords, such as vocal nodules, polyps, or cysts.
These issues can affect the volume, range and tone of the voice, and can even lead to problems with coughing, throat clearing and hoarseness. ENTs can also assess and diagnose conditions that can cause laryngitis, such as gastroesophageal reflux (GERD).
They are also skilled in treating throat and vocal cord conditions that may be related to allergies or sinus infections, and can identify and manage hundreds of voice problems. ENTs may also recommend lifestyle changes such as being better hydrated, avoiding certain foods and talking more privately or less often.
In more serious cases, surgery can be recommended.
Can an ENT diagnose voice disorders?
Yes, an ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctor can diagnose voice disorders. An ENT specialist, also known as an otolaryngologist, is a doctor who is trained to identify and treat a variety of conditions affecting the head and neck, including voice disorders.
ENTs evaluate and diagnose a range of voice disorders, from different throat infections and vocal cord damage to constraints of the throat and larynx due to medical issues. During the diagnosis, they may use inspections and voice tests to help them determine the cause of the voice disorder.
A specialist may recommend treatments such as therapy, medication, or, in more severe cases, surgery to address the issue.
What will an ENT do on your first visit?
On the first visit to an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist, the doctor will typically conduct a comprehensive examination of the ears, nose, and throat. This may include a visual inspection of these areas, as well as an examination of the throat using an otoscope, which is a small handheld tool used to see inside the ear.
The doctor may also use an endoscope, which is a tube with a tiny camera that is used to view the inside of the nose. In addition, the doctor will likely check the sinuses, the lymph nodes in the neck, and the patient’s hearing.
This may include a hearing test and/or imaging tests such as a CT scan, MRI, or X-ray of the head and neck. Depending on what their findings are, the doctor may recommend treatments such as medications, steroids, or surgery.
Your ENT specialist will also discuss ways to manage symptoms and answer any questions you may have about your condition.
Can a damaged voice heal?
Yes, damaged voices can heal. It is possible to recover from vocal issues like nodules, polyps, or cysts with surgery and voice therapy, however, it is important to note that the healing process can vary greatly depending on the individual and the severity of the damage.
The most common way to heal a damaged voice is to learn proper vocal technique and to engage in vocal exercises and exercises that strengthen the structures that support the vocal cords. This may include chest and diaphragmatic breathing, laryngeal massage, and sustained phonated exercises that help to stretch and relax the vocal cords.
Voice therapy can also help to reduce laryngeal tension, improve posture, and correct any habits that may be causing voice damage. Additionally, some people may need to make lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, managing stress, and avoiding certain foods that are damaging to the throat.
With the proper treatment, damaged voices can heal and the individual can regain their full vocal range and resonance.
How do I fix my voice disorder?
You can fix a voice disorder by seeking help from a medical professional, such as a speech-language pathologist (SLP). These professionals can diagnose and provide treatment for voice disorders. Depending on the type and severity of the voice disorder, they may recommend specific treatment and voice therapy exercises.
Treatment options may include medications, voice therapy, and even surgery. Voice therapy exercises can help to improve the quality of your voice, and to help strengthen the muscles that control your vocal cords.
Other treatments may involve vocal relaxation techniques, breath control, and working on certain speaking habits like loudness and pitch. Additionally, your SLP may provide you with a diet and exercise plan, specific to your voice needs, to help improve your overall vocal health.
How do doctors check for vocal damage?
Doctors check for vocal damage through a comprehensive physical examination of the vocal cords and other vocal structures. They will typically inspect the throat and neck area as well as ask the individual to produce various vocalizations and sounds.
This helps them observe the motion of the vocal cords and other structures which can reveal any vocal damage or abnormality in the individual’s vocal tract. Depending on their findings, doctors may also order further tests such as voice sonography or CT scans to diagnose the underlying cause of any vocal damage.
During the course of the physical examination, doctors may ask the individual to produce sounds of different qualities in order to test the range and quality of their voice. They may also ask the individual to take a few vocal rest periods throughout the day in order to give their vocal cords time to recuperate.
In cases when individuals have complaints of hoarseness or pain, doctors may order throat cultures or other lab tests to rule out the presence of any infection or other underlying medical condition. Additionally, individuals may be referred to a specialist such as an otolaryngologist in order to further evaluate their vocal development and examination of other structures of their vocal mechanism.
What is the difference between a laryngologist and an ENT?
A laryngologist is a type of Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialist who specializes in diseases and conditions that affect the voice box and throat. A laryngologist may diagnose and treat diseases such as vocal cord paralysis, sleep apnea, swallowing disorders, neck masses, voice disorders and tonsillitis.
They are highly trained in endoscopy, which is using a camera to look inside the throat, and may even perform surgical procedures to treat these and other conditions.
An ENT is a different type of doctor who is trained to diagnose and treat diseases of the ear, nose and throat. These diseases can include chronic ear infections, hearing loss, sinus infections, sleep apnea, snoring, nasal congestion and allergies.
They also may perform surgeries to remove nasal polyps, insert breathing tubes for long term breathing assistance, or repair damaged cartilage on the nose.
The main difference between a laryngologist and an ENT is that a laryngologist is more focused on the vocal box and throat than an ENT, although an ENT may treat some of the same conditions.
What is the most common symptom of all voice disorders?
The most commonly reported symptom of voice disorders is hoarseness or hoarse voice, which is characterized by an overall lowering of pitch, breathiness, and a strained quality when speaking. Other symptoms of voice disorders include: breathiness, low volume, pain or discomfort when speaking, a harsh, raspy, or straining quality, and pitch breaks.
Other symptoms may also include an inability to project the voice, vocal fatigue, and difficulties controlling the pitch or volume. Additionally, the presence of other symptoms such as throat pain and neck pain may be associated with voice disorders.
It is important to note that voice disorders can vary greatly, and not all individuals with voice disorders experience all of the above symptoms.
Should I go to ENT for laryngitis?
Yes, if you have laryngitis, you should go to ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) for a diagnosis and treatment. ENTs are medical professionals specialized in diagnosing, managing, and treating diseases and conditions of the ear, nose, and throat.
If you experience laryngitis symptoms such as soreness, hoarseness, or cracking in the voice, an ENT can help. They can assess laryngitis, determine the cause, and provide treatments to help you recover.
In some cases, medications may be prescribed to reduce symptoms, while more severe cases may require surgery. An ENT will also be able to provide activities and lifestyle modifications that can help you manage laryngitis and reduce the risk of relapse.
Can doctors do anything for laryngitis?
Yes, doctors can do several things to help treat laryngitis. Depending on the cause and severity of the laryngitis, treatments may include antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroids, and inhalers to reduce inflammation.
In more severe cases, doctors may also recommend voice rest to allow the vocal cords to heal. Doctors may also perform a procedure called voice therapy to teach strategies for reducing vocal strain and improving voice quality.
Additionally, doctors may recommend lifestyle changes such as avoiding triggers or taking steps to ensure proper hydration to relieve laryngitis symptoms.