A voice or throat evaluation can uncover everything from harmless polyps to cancer. So, if you’ve had a lingering sore throat or hoarse voice for weeks, it’s time to get checked out by our experienced ear, nose, and throat doctor, Vandana Kumra of ENT New York. She sees patients with all kinds of throat and voice issues in our Central Park West office. Here’s how a voice and throat evaluation can help you.
Why do I need a voice and throat evaluation?
If you have a sore throat that doesn’t seem to go away no matter what you do, trouble swallowing, or hoarseness that lingers, a voice and throat evaluation can help. During the exam, Dr. Kumra looks for a variety of causes like cysts, polyps, and tumors on your vocal cords or in your throat. Often, they’re harmless or benign. Finding a growth doesn’t mean it’s cancer.
Allergies, gastroesophageal reflux disease, laryngitis, or smoking could also cause problems with your voice or throat. The only way to know what’s causing your condition is to have a comprehensive exam in our office.
Health conditions related to the voice and throat
Here are some of the common conditions found on the vocal cords or in the throat.
Growths on the vocal cords
People who sing or talk all the time may develop swollen vocal cords, but it can happen to anyone. Other causes include coaching, cheerleading, muscle tension, allergies, and smoking.
Also, nodules or polyps may grow and harden on the vocal cords, leading to a scratchy, hoarse, or rough voice that doesn’t seem to get better. Other symptoms of nodules and polyps include:
- Neck or ear pain
- Overall tiredness
- Feeling like there’s something in your throat
These harmless growths can be surgically removed. If your symptoms are caused by allergies or something else like a thyroid condition, they should be treated first to see if your condition improves. Sometimes, resting your voice, drinking more fluids, or taking over-the-counter medicine may help ease your symptoms.
Vocal cord paralysis
If one or both of the vocal cords doesn’t open or close the right way, you could have trouble swallowing or breathing. Your voice may also be affected. Vocal cord paralysis may be caused by:
Adenoids are found behind the nasal cavity, and they play a role in helping our bodies fight infection. They grow until about age 7 and then shrink, but they can become enlarged from an infection. Enlarged adenoids can contribute to other health conditions like:
- Sore throat
- Stuffy nose
- Snoring and sleep apnea
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swollen neck glands
- Trouble sleeping
During your exam, Dr. Kumra may find other areas of concern in your neck or with your thyroid. If so, she may order blood work and diagnostic tests to get an accurate diagnosis. Once she knows what’s going on, she presents your treatment options and gets you on the path to recovery.
If you’re concerned about your voice or throat, make an appointment with Dr. Kumra by using our online booking tool or by calling 646-859-6136 today.