Voice problems usually include pain or discomfort when you speak or difficulty controlling the pitch, loudness, or quality of your voice. As you exhale, air gently passes through your throat, across your open vocal cords, and out your mouth and nose. When you speak, your vocal cords close partially as air travels through them, causing vibrations and the unique sound of your voice. Your voice is the result of remarkable and complex interactions involving several body parts-especially the lungs, voice box (larynx), and mouth. Damage to any of these body parts can lead to a voice problem. The most common throat disorder by far is tonsillitis. It more commonly effects children and is usually treated with a tonsillectomy. Strep throat is also very common and can be treated easily with antibiotics. Some of the other throat disorders are swallowing problems that patients may have either due to age or infection or neurologic problems if they have suffered a stroke. Hoarseness or hoarse voice is caused in a change in the vibrations of the vocal cords themselves. The vocal cords are usually symmetric in their vibration, and anything that causes swelling, inflammation, or obstruction of the vocal cords themselves can cause hoarseness. The worry that all laryngologists have is that your hoarseness may be caused by something like a tumor. Typically if it's picked up early, it's easily treated, usually with 99 percent cure rates for cancer. If the hoarseness is left unchecked, typically patients may lose their entire voice box over the hoarseness. So it should be evaluated earlier than later, and the diagnosis is usually made with a quick exam that's very painless. An ENT specialist will diagnose the condition and advice the most appropriate procedure to heal the patient.
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