Posts for tag: Hoarseness
Communication is an important aspect of our everyday lives, and most people use their voices frequently to communicate throughout their waking hours. However, when hoarseness strikes, it can be an uncomfortable and embarrassing roadblock to communication. Dr. Giulio Cavalli, your ENT doctor in Pittsfield, MA, sees many patients who are dealing with this common issue, and he's outlined some of the ways he helps them prevent hoarseness from becoming a problem.
What is hoarseness?
Patients in Pittsfield with hoarseness may speak very quietly or in a raspy or strained-sounding tone. This is usually due to an irritation of the voice box, or larynx, or the structures that make it up. This is often due to overuse of the voice, particularly if you've had to yell or sing for a long period. It's also a common issue that tends to happen toward the end of a cold or flu. People with chronic conditions like allergies, thyroid disorders, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are also prone to hoarseness. While the majority of reasons for hoarseness are not particularly serious, it is occasionally a symptom of cancer of the larynx or surrounding structures.
How do I prevent hoarseness?
If your Pittsfield ENT has diagnosed you with one of the conditions that lead to hoarseness, you may be wondering how to keep it at bay. Here are a few tips to get ahead of your hoarse voice:
- Nip bad habits in the bud. As you know, quitting smoking has a positive bearing on every part of your health. Committing to quitting smoking can greatly improve hoarseness.
- Stay hydrated. Keep your throat (and the rest of your body) well-watered. Sip on water throughout the day to maintain moisture. Drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine can have the opposite effect on your body and should be enjoyed in moderation.
- Introduce humidity. Consider running a humidifier in your home, particularly if your heat or air conditioner runs constantly. These appliances help regulate the temperature, but can also dry the environment out. A humidifier releases a small amount of moisture into the air which can offset the dryness and keep your hoarseness under control.
If your voice is hoarse for longer than two weeks, a call to your Pittsfield MA otolaryngologist for an evaluation is a good idea. Contact the office of Dr. Giulio Cavalli at (413) 443-6116 to set up an appointment today!
You’ve probably had days when you sound extremely raspy or husky. In some cases, people even lose their voices for a day or two. While hoarseness is usually harmless, there may be times that it requires professional treatment. Here at Giulio Cavalli Medical in Pittsfield, MA, our ENT doctor, Dr. Giulio Cavalli, can examine your condition, give you an accurate diagnosis, and recommend treatments to help you manage your hoarseness.
Common Causes of Hoarseness
Aside from overusing or misusing your voice due to shouting, cheering, singing loudly, etc., one of the most causes of hoarseness is laryngitis, which develops from infection, irritation, or overuse of the larynx (i.e. the voice box).
Normally, the vocal cords inside your larynx can close and open smoothly to form sounds via their vibrations and movements. When you have laryngitis, however, the vocal cords become irritated and swollen, which causes sound distortion, and therefore, hoarseness. In more serious laryngitis cases, your voice can even become virtually undetectable.
While most laryngitis cases are not serious, persistent hoarseness and chronic laryngitis could indicate a more severe underlying health problem. These can include vocal cord paralysis, vocal cysts, polyps, vocal fold hemorrhage, thyroid issues, and neurological disorder/diseases.
When to Visit Your Doctor for Hoarseness
Visit your ENT doctor if you’re been experiencing hoarseness for longer than three weeks, particularly if you don’t have an obvious condition, such as the flu or a cold, that could explain your symptoms. You should also immediately consult with our Pittsfield office if you are coughing up blood, have a lump or bump in the neck, have pain when swallowing/talking, have breathing difficulties, or if you lose your voice entirely for more than three days.
Worried About Your Hoarseness?
Schedule a consultation with your ENT doctor, Dr. Giulio Cavalli of Giulio Cavalli Medical in Pittsfield, MA, by dialing (413) 443-6116.
Has your voice suddenly become hoarse? Although nearly everyone experiences hoarseness from time to time, the symptoms improve on their own in a few weeks in most cases. If your hoarseness continues longer than two or three weeks, it's a good idea to pay a visit to Dr. Giulio Cavalli, your ear, nose, and throat doctor in Pittsfield, MA. Dr. Cavalli can help you determine the cause of your hoarseness and recommend appropriate treatment options.
Why am I hoarse?
Diagnosing your condition starts with a head and neck examination and a discussion of your symptoms and your medical history. Your Pittsfield ENT may also examine your vocal cords using a thin, flexible scope that contains a light and a miniature camera. The scope is passed through your nose and into the upper part of your throat.
Common causes of hoarseness include:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) or laryngopharyngeal reflux disorder (LRP)
- Normal effects of aging
- Singing or yelling for extended periods
- Colds and upper respiratory infections
- Seasonal or food allergies
- Benign polyps, nodules or cysts on your larynx (voice box)
- Trauma to your throat and larynx
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Thyroid disease
Although hoarseness can be caused by cancer, changes in your voice are more often caused by other health problems.
What treatments are available for hoarseness?
Treatment for hoarseness depends on the cause of your symptoms. If you have GERD or LRP, you may benefit from taking medications that decrease stomach acid production. Treating allergies, quitting smoking, and reducing exposure to secondhand smoke can be helpful, as can drinking more water and increasing the humidity in your home. Hoarseness caused by an underlying illness or condition may be improved by treating that condition.
A few sessions with a speech pathologist may be recommended if hoarseness occurs due to overuse of your larynx. The speech pathologist can help you change the way you produce sounds to prevent straining your vocal cords. Surgery may be needed if hoarseness is caused by a cyst, polyp or tumor.
Are you concerned about hoarseness? Call Dr. Giulio Cavalli, your ENT doctor in Pittsfield, MA, at (413) 443-6116 to schedule an appointment.
Are you suffering from a hoarse voice that just won’t go away?
Hoarseness is a condition in which there is a change in the voice. Those suffering from hoarseness will experience changes to the pitch of their voice often characterized by raspiness or an unusual deepness. This is usually the result of irritation or injury to the vocal cords. So, what could be causing your hoarseness and when should you visit our Pittsfield, MA otolaryngologist, Dr. Giulio Cavalli, for treatment?
There are many reasons why you might be experiencing hoarseness. The most common cause is acute laryngitis, which causes vocal cord inflammation. Laryngitis is usually the result of an upper respiratory infection or from overuse (less common).
Other causes of hoarseness include:
- Thyroid problems
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Vocal cord polyps or nodules
- Being exposed to respiratory irritants
- Vocal cord trauma
- Larynx cancer
- Neurological conditions
When should I visit an otolaryngologist?
If you have symptoms that last for more than three weeks, if you have a cold or flu or if you have difficulty swallowing, these all warrant a trip to our Pittsfield ENT office for care. Other reasons to visit us regarding hoarseness include:
- If there is blood when you cough
- If you have pain when swallowing or speaking
- If hoarseness is affecting your quality of life
- If you have lost your voice or you are experiencing severe changes to your voice that last several days
- If you have a lump in the neck
How is hoarseness treated?
The type of treatment that we recommend will depend on the root cause of your symptoms, which is why it’s always a good idea to get a proper diagnosis from our Pittsfield, MA ENT doctor. If a cold or flu is the cause, these illnesses will often clear up on their own with rest and fluids. We will recommend certain lifestyle changes such as drinking lots of water, staying away from smoke, using a humidifier and avoiding spicy foods. Sometimes surgery is necessary if there is a polyp or nodule on the vocal cords that needs to be removed.
If you have been experiencing a hoarse voice for a while now and require treatment then it’s time you called our very own Dr. Cavalli for the care you need.