Treating Voice Disorders
Philip A. Pollice, MD, FACS
Otolaryngologist, Metropolitan ENT Associates–UPMC
The most common manifestation of voice disorders is hoarseness, and any hoarseness lasting more than two weeks needs to be evaluated by a medical professional. We have very sophisticated tools and techniques to evaluate the voice box or larynx. We’re able to actually visualize and videotape the patient’s voice box, and this allows us to not only make a very accurate diagnosis but to develop treatment plans that best fit the patient’s actual problem.
Types of Voice Disorders
Hoarseness can be divided into a number of categories. A few of those are, one would be inflammatory disorders, and inflammatory disorders can include things like acid reflux, a chemical irritant, or even an infection like your run-of-the-mill viral infection. A second category would be a structural abnormality, and the structural abnormalities can include things like vocal nodules or cysts all the way up to and including things like cancer. A third abnormality would be neurologic problems, where an injury occurred to one of the nerves of the voice box during a surgery, or even a neurologic disorder like Parkinson’s disease.
Vocal disorders may be managed in a variety of ways. They can be managed using medicines and all the way up to and including surgical procedures. A wide variety of vocal disorders, however, may be managed using something without medicines and something without surgery, and that can be referred to as voice therapy — which is a form of physical therapy aimed at your larynx or at your voice box. Indeed oftentimes a combination of one, two, or even all three of these forms of treatment can be used to improve vocal disorders. We have expertise at Metropolitan ENT Associates–UPMC in all three of these techniques and all three of these management styles.
Our Voice Care Team
At Metropolitan ENT Associates–UPMC we employ a multidisciplinary approach to the care of voice patients. Voice patients are seen not only by a physician but by a speech language pathologist, and together we use some of the most sophisticated tools and techniques to both diagnose and treat voice disorders for our voice patients.
For more information, contact us at 724-772-2711 or toll-free 1-866-929-6368