Feb 5, 2019
In this episode, Stacy Wellborn and ENT physician Dr. Ron Swain, Jr. talk about hoarseness of the voice and laryngitis. Dr. Swain shares some common and not so common hoarseness causes, remedies, treatment, and explains how the vocal cords work. Laryingitis and thinning voices from overuse are very common and most of the time easily diagnosed and treated, however, if there are other health factors like smoking, a history of cancer, or nerve issues then seeing an ENT physician is crucial and should not be delayed.
What You Will Learn
> Hoarseness describes a change in one's voice and is more of
a symptom than a disease.
> The most common and uncommon causes of hoarseness, laryngitis, and a thinning voice.
> How the vocal cords work and how the larynx is examined.
> Simple and home remedies for hoarseness relief.
> Symptoms and chronic conditions to be aware of that may be signs of a more severe and complex ENT condition?
> Our voice can become weaker and thinner with age.
> The importance and role of a good speech therapist and how Dr. Swain and other ENT doctors take a team approach working with them.
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Quotables and Tweetables
Vocal abuse and overuse is certainly a big cause of hoarseness. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
If you get a bad sore throat and you get bad laryngitis, it sounds like you're a frog, you're almost aphonic. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
You get inflammation in the vocal cords. As the inflammation regresses, your voice gets normal, and you go on. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
People that are in the military, drill instructors, teachers when they're trying to least the last child in the back of the room to try to get their attention will tend to yell. Sometimes we'll get them to see the speech therapist to help them work with how they voice and how they speak. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
Straining your voice, you've got to learn how to do that properly. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
People can come in with a complaint of hoarseness and really what they tell you kind of depends on how aggressive you need to be with the exam or what you need to do. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
If you're not breathing well at night and you've got some sleep apnea, and you have a tendency to have reflux, that can all kind of run together, and you can get some inflammation of your vocal cords. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
Our voices tend to get worse as we get older. The vocal cords, the vocalis muscle can tend to thin with age. So you can have something called presbylarynx, which is kind of an age-related change to the larynx. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
Hoarseness is the symptom. What's actually causing it is what people want to know and how can you fix it. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
Most of the time hoarseness and laryngitis will get better if it's not a serious problem. But if it's not getting better, if we don't think it's a simple problem, and it's not getting better, we need to take a closer look. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
Allergies and postnasal drip can give you a lot of hoarseness. So most of the time it's not something serious. But sometimes when it is, we do work to get that taken care of. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
If you are having a recurring issue with hoarseness, you need not to wait to see a doctor. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
Give it a few days if hoarseness is an acute problem. If it's a chronic problem, we're going to want to see you to take a look at it. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
if you're someone who relies on their voice, whether you're a singer or whether you're some type of professional where you need your voice to communicate, whether it's in the classroom or whether it's dealing in a business meeting, people are not going to really tolerate not sounding normal. They usually want to come in for an evaluation. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
The voice box is a very complicated anatomical structure. It is innervated by a lot of different nerves. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
Sometimes hoarseness is not an anatomical problem in terms of a mass. It may be a problem with how well the actual nerves are functioning. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
But in an area like this that is so complicated anatomically, one of the things that we always think about is neurological issues that can play a role in someone that's chronically hoarse. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
Speech therapists are vital in terms of trying to help people recover from either certain illnesses or from cancer treatment or from inflammatory problems of the larynx and having swallowing problems. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
We work very closely with speech therapists. A lot of times speech therapists are the ones that actually help people try to recover and regain function of their swallowing and speech mechanisms. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
Speech therapists are very important in terms of managing voice problems and speech problems, swallowing problems. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.