The symptoms may indicate a more serious health condition that requires treatment. Some of the most common problems or disorders affecting the voice and swallowing include:

  • Laryngitis
  • Polyps
  • Nodules
  • Cysts
  • Vocal fold paralysis (nerve signal to larynx are interrupted)
  • Dysphonia (voice strain)
  • Respiratory papilloma (voice box tumors caused by the papilloma virus)
  • Acid reflux (acid backing up to the throat and voice box)
  • Swallowing difficulties (dysphagia)

Vocal cord and voice examination

A vocal cord test can be performed to identify the source of the symptoms. Several types of tests can be performed. The simplest is called an “indirect laryngoscopy,” which involves a specially angled mirror, placed to the back of the throat, to visually examine the larynx. A more thorough examination can be performed with a flexible laryngoscope, which is a small camera inserted into the throat. Our specialists may examine your throat with a video stroboscope. This examination uses a strobe light and camera to measure the motions of the vocal cords more thoroughly. The inspection takes about half an hour to complete and has no downtime or side effects. 

These examinations can identify various vocal cord or throat problems, including:

  • Vocal cord nodules
  • Vocal cord polyps
  • Laryngitis
  • Cancer
  • Vocal cord abnormalities
  • Persistent sore throat or cough
  • Vocal changes
  • Vocal cord tumors
  • Swallowing issues
  • Breathing problems

Acid reflux testing

Patients who experience heartburn frequently, or the symptoms of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), such as chest pain, asthma, chronic coughing, or other throat systems should undergo testing. An esophageal pH test involves inserting a tiny probe into the nostril, positioning it near the lower esophagus. The probe is attached to a monitor, which is worn for 24 hours. You may be a candidate for a more comfortable, advanced test, in which a capsule is endoscopically placed in the esophagus, which transmits data for up to 48 hours to a receiver worn by the patient. 

Complicated voice disorders

The vocal cords may vibrate in an abnormal manner, affecting the sound of your voice. Our specialists at Orlando ENT Associates are experts in identifying and treating complicated vocal cord disorders, including:

  • Laryngitis: Inflammation of the voice box from overuse, infection, or allergies
  • Vocal cord paresis: An abnormal nerve input to the vocal cords, leading to vocal weakness or abnormal vocal cord motions. 
  • Vocal cord paralysis: When the nerve impulses to the vocal cords are interrupted, the muscles may no longer move, affecting the ability to speak or breathe.
  • Spasmodic dysphonia: This condition affects the muscles that create voice sounds, which can spasm, leading to the inability to speak or great difficulty speaking. 
  • Muscle tension dysphonia: Excessive muscle tension around the larynx can lead to changes in the sound of your voice, which can sound rough, gravelly, raspy, or other changes. 
  • Polyps, nodules, lesions, or cysts on the vocal cords: These growths can affect the sound of the voice, or the ability to speak.
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Symptoms of voice disorders

A complicated voice disorder may come with several symptoms, including:

  • Quivering voice
  • Hoarseness
  • Voice sounds strained
  • Voice sounds breathy or weak
  • Voice changes in pitch, sounding higher or lower than normal
  • Pain when speaking, within the body or on the outside of the throat
  • Sensation of a lump in your throat

Candidates for treatment

If you are struggling with a voice or swallowing problem, it is critical that you are diagnosed and treated by a specialist. Candidates for treatment include those who are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Vocal strain
  • Voice changes
  • Voice has an unusual or different pitch
  • Pain related to speaking
  • Trouble swallowing
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Why choose Orlando ENT Associates for complicated vocal disorders?

At Orlando ENT Associates, we are equipped with the most advanced diagnostic technology to identify a range of voice and throat conditions. We are recognized as being among the best ENT specialists in the Orlando area. Our otolaryngologists, head and neck surgeons, can diagnose and treat voice and vocal cord conditions with the least invasive treatments possible. We focus on personalized care, and every member of our team is compassionate, warm, and dedicated to serving the Orlando community with an exceptional level of care.

With 3 convenient locations across the Orlando area, we’re never far away.

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