Many of us have experienced a sore throat with a bad cold, cough, allergies, or postnasal drip. These conditions are common and can make you miserable. But, do you ever give your throat a second thought after you finish your homemade chicken soup and are feeling better?
Dr. Vandana Kumra, an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT) and a board-certified head and neck surgeon in New York City, New York, knows there’s much more to the throat than you might think. From polyps on your vocal cords to its role in sleep apnea, or masses, the throat is a complex part of your body that needs to be examined regularly.
Common conditions of the throat
Common conditions of the throat include irritation from allergies or post-nasal drip, to a hoarse voice from talking too long or too loud or from smoking, to trouble swallowing. These can be easy to spot or may need a more thorough examination and diagnostic testing.
You may have enlarged tonsils or adenoids that interfere with your ability to breathe and contribute to chronic sore throats. Or, you could have swollen lymph nodes in your neck caused by an infection or an early warning sign for cancer.
If you have any of these conditions or suffer from chronic sore throats or sinus issues, let Dr. Kumra do a thorough examination to find out what’s going on. Once she has a diagnosis or determines a cause, she’ll develop a comprehensive treatment plan for you.
The throat also plays an important role in sleep apnea. In this condition, tissue from the back of the throat partially blocks your airway while you’re sleeping. It causes interruptions in your breathing throughout the night. Fortunately, it can be controlled by a special machine that delivers continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).
More serious conditions
Sometimes, a throat evaluation by Dr. Kumra will uncover something more serious like a mass on the thyroid gland or in the neck. If so, you may need blood work, diagnostic testing, or a biopsy to determine if the mass is cancerous or benign. If it’s cancerous, you may need chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or any combination of the three. The earlier it’s detected the easier it is to treat, and the better chances you have of recovery.
As you can see, your throat is just as important as other areas of your body. It can have a range of health issues from mild to severe, which is why it’s important to get a thorough exam from an ENT. Make an appointment with Dr. Kumra by calling 646-859-6136 or by booking online today.