Posts for tag: Hoarseness
At some point in life, everyone has probably experienced a sore throat. Dealing with a sore throat can be extremely irritating and can cause your daily life to suffer. Sore throats can be caused by a number of issues, but it’s important to see your doctor to find out what could be causing your sore throat and how it can be treated. When you’re dealing with a sore throat, you should visit your ENT doctor at Ear, Nose, & Throat Surgeons of Western New England, LLC, with offices in Springfield and Northampton, MA, to find out how you can treat your hoarseness and sore throat and get back to your normal life as soon as possible.
Treating a Sore Throat
When you’re dealing with a sore throat and hoarseness caused by a cold or flu, your ENT doctor in Springfield and Northampton, MA, may recommend some different forms of care for you try at home to ease your symptoms. Some common remedies may include:
- Drinking warm tea or water with honey
- Increasing your water intake
- Using a humidifier in the bedroom
- Gargling with salt water several times a day
- Taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen as needed
If your sore throat is more severe and doesn’t seem to be eased with any of these treatments, your ENT doctor may want to see you for a throat culture to find out if your sore throat is caused by a bacterial infection. If it is being caused by a bacterial infection, you may be prescribed antibiotics to kill the bacteria.
Contact Your ENT Doctor Today!
If you’re being affected by a sore throat, be sure to talk to your ENT doctor as soon as possible to start treatment. Contact your doctor at Ear, Nose, & Throat Surgeons of Western New England, LLC, with offices in Springfield and Northampton, MA, to treat your hoarseness and sore throat today! Call (413) 732-7426 for the office in Springfield, MA and (413) 586-2033 for the office in Northampton, MA today!
Find out when you should seek medical attention for a hoarse voice.
We’ve all heard how raspy our voices get the day after singing our lungs out at our favorite concert. We also know that certain winter infections can also affect our voice; however, what if you notice that your voice is regularly scratchy or raspy? Here’s what you should know about hoarseness and when you may need to see one of our Northampton, Ware, and Springfield, MA, otolaryngologists.
There are many reasons why someone may experience hoarseness including,
- Overuse or straining your voice: shouting at a game or singing loudly at a concert
- Laryngitis: can be caused by a cold, respiratory infection or allergies
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): frequent or chronic heartburn and acid reflux can irritate the tissue in the back of the throat, as well as the vocal cords
- Vocal cysts or polyps: these benign growths that develop on the vocal cords are more common in singers
- Vocal fold hemorrhage: if you’ve immediately lost your voice after intense vocal straining you could be dealing with a hemorrhage in the vocal cords
Other less common causes include,
- Larynx injury
- Laryngeal cancer (rare)
- Thyroid problems
- Neurological conditions (e.g. Parkinson’s disease; stroke)
When should I see a doctor?
You should schedule an appointment with our ENT doctor if you’re dealing with hoarseness that hasn’t gone away within three weeks. If you have a respiratory infection or cold that isn’t going away it’s particularly important that you see a doctor.
If you are experiencing other symptoms such as pain or trouble swallowing, difficulty speaking or a lump in the throat it’s important that you see a doctor as soon as possible.
What should I expect when I come into the office?
First, your otolaryngologist will go through your medical history and ask you questions about your hoarseness and symptoms you are experiencing. From there, they may be able to rule out certain causes and determine which diagnostic tests need to be performed.
In most cases, your otolaryngologist will examine your throat with an endoscope to examine the vocal folds to look for inflammation, injury, a hemorrhage or nodule. Your doctor may recommend additional tests in order to fully determine what’s going on and how to best treat it.
Ear Nose & Throat, Surgeons of Western New England has offices in Springfield, Northampton and Mary Lane Hospital, MA, to serve you. If you are dealing with any of the issues above don’t hesitate to call one of our offices. In Springfield, phone (413) 732-7426. In Northhampton, call (413) 586-2033, and for the Mary Lane Hospital location, call (413) 967-2249.
Are you suffering from hoarseness? Do you want to know more about hoarseness and its causes?
Your Ear Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England located in Ware, Northhampton, and Springfield, MA, can help you understand your symptom and how to treat hoarseness.
What is hoarseness?
This is when you have an abnormal voice. It's raspy and strained. You'll also notice your voice varying in pitch and volume. Hoarseness isn't a disease but a symptom.
What causes hoarseness?
Hoarseness is a result of disorders in the larynx, also known as the voice box.
Examples of issues include:
- Common cold
- Upper respiratory tract viral infection
- Voice abuse
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Thyroid problems
- Neurological disorders
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Trauma to the voice box
Note that if your hoarseness lasts for too long, this may be a sign of larynx cancer.
Other examples of when you may suffer from hoarseness according to your Ware, Northhampton, and Springfield doctor:
- Voice Change: Cancers may result in a hoarse voice. You'll need to speak to an otolaryngologist that specializes in head and neck issues.
- Persistent Earache: This may be a result of several things, like an infection or tumor. Make sure you speak with your otolaryngologist if you have questions.
Doctors evaluate your health by determining the severity of your hoarseness in relation to how long it has persisted. Other procedures used include:
- Lab tests
- Test thyroid function
- Physical exam
How to Improve your Health:
- You should quit smoking
- Avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol because of dehydration
- Avoid standing with people who smoke (second-hand smoking)
- Drink more water and humidify your home
- Try to avoid eating spicy food and, as mentioned above, alcohol
- Relax your voice by not straining it
If you have any questions or concerns about a persistent hoarse voice, call your Ware, Northhampton, and Springfield, MA, doctor at Ear Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England.
Who hasn't experienced the raspy hoarseness associated with a cold or the flu? This annoying laryngitis resolves by itself within a few days to a week, but if you aren't sick, what could be causing this vocal weakness? The Ear Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England ask their Northampton and Springfield, MA patients to tell them when hoarseness persists more than two weeks. While the cause of it may not be sinister, lasting hoarseness should be evaluated by the experts.
The causes of hoarseness in Northampton and Springfield
When you see your ear, nose & throat specialist, he or she will ask you about your symptoms, how long they have been happening and what may help or worsen them. Also, the doctor will review your medications and order tests as necessary to visualize your vocal folds and larynx (voice box).
These examinations happen right in the office, usually with a fiberoptic scope or videostroboscopy. The images allow the doctor to seek the internal anatomy of the throat and also how the larynx functions in real time.
The underlying reasons for hoarseness are many, and may include:
- Benign nodules and polyps (sometimes originating in overuse of the voice as with singers)
- HPV-related warts
- Upper respiratory infections
- GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Asthma and asthma medications (such as inhaled corticosteroids)
- Thyroid problems (the thyroid is an H-shaped organ located on the larynx)
- Excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption
Your ENT doctor will treat your hoarseness according to his or her diagnostic findings. For small benign growths, in-office endoscopic resection (involving a lighted tube inserted down the throat) may suffice. Laser treatments help eliminate or reduce the size of papillomas (warts) in the throat.
Many lifestyle modifications help alleviate hoarseness as well, state ENT experts at the Cleveland Clinic. They include:
- Staying well hydrated in the winter weather
- Getting sufficient in-house humidification
- Controlling acid reflux with diet and medications
- Avoiding overuse of the voice (no yelling)
- Using a spacer when using an inhaled steroid for asthma maintenance (as recommended in Health Central)
- Quitting smoking
- Limiting caffeine and alcohol
Is your voice hoarse?
If this persists, find out why. Contact Ear Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England to arrange a consultation with one of our seven physicians. We have three locations to serve you. In Springfield, call (413) 732-7426. In Northampton, phone (413) 586-2033, or for our Mary Lane Hospital office, call (413) 967-2249.
Whether from cheering on your favorite team or singing along to your favorite artist, losing your voice is never a fun experience. However, hoarseness can be a sign of something more than simple overuse. Find out what is causing your hoarseness with your doctor at Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeons of Western New England in Northampton, Ware and Springfield, MA.
Common Causes of Hoarseness
Hoarseness is defined as a sudden or abnormal change in voice and is usually caused by the inflammation or irritation of the vocal cords. Common causes of hoarseness include:
- Infection: An upper respiratory infection, the most common cause of seeing a doctor in the United States, can make you lose your voice.
- Laryngitis: The most common cause of hoarseness, laryngitis occurs when the larynx, which houses the vocal cords, becomes inflamed.
- Gastric Reflux: This condition occurs when stomach acid travels up the esophagus and irritates the tissues in the throat.
- Smoking: Smoking irritates the vocal cords, causing you to become hoarse. However, hoarseness in smokers should be examined by a healthcare professional to rule out things like throat cancer.
- Overuse: Screaming, singing loudly, speaking loudly for an extended period of time or speaking loudly over a crowd in a noisy situation can cause hoarseness.
- Allergies: Allergies can cause hoarseness due to coughing and other symptoms.
- Coughing: Coughing puts added pressure onto the vocal cords, causing you to become hoarse. If you are coughing so much you lose your voice, you should consult your physician.
- Nodules: Vocal cord lesions or nodules are similar to a callus which develops on the vocal cord, causing hoarseness.
Hoarseness Treatment in Northampton, Ware and Springfield
Most cases of hoarseness go away on their own within a day or two. Resting the voice is helpful in reducing inflammation and irritation which allows the body’s natural healing abilities to take over. If you are hoarse for more than two weeks, or if you are hoarse alongside pain, coughing up blood, have a lump in your neck or are having problems swallowing, you should see your ear, nose and throat doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor can help you determine the best course of treatment for your hoarseness.
For more information on hoarseness and its causes, please contact your doctor at Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeons of Western New England in Northampton, Ware and Springfield, MA. Call to schedule your examination today!