Change In Voice in Oceanside, CA
While singing your lungs out at a concert may cause you to lose your voice temporarily, or a viral sore throat may cause pain or difficulty swallowing, these are minor nuisances that often go away on their own with time; however, when you notice changes in your voice or swallowing problems that don’t go away, it’s time to turn to our board-certified otolaryngologists Dr. Robert Jacobs, Dr. Richard Liu and Dr. Sarah Carroll to find out what’s going on.
What Can Cause Vocal or Swallowing Changes?
There are many causes, both minor and more serious, that can alter a person’s voice or impact their ability to swallow. Vocal changes or swallowing problems may be the result of,
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Environmental pollutants
- Vocal polyps
- Cysts and nodules
- Chronic cough
- Hiatal hernia
- Muscle disorders
- Cancer of the head, neck or esophagus
What Are the Signs of Swallowing Problems?
Apart from pain or difficulty with swallowing, someone with dysphagia or other swallowing disorders may also experience,
- Post-nasal drip
- Chronic cough
- Persistent throat clearing
- Excessive congestion or mucus in the throat
- A lump-in-the-throat sensation
- Loss of voice
- Chronic sore through
- Throat pain
- Spasms of the throat
How Are Swallowing Disorders and Vocal Problems Diagnosed?
To figure out what’s going on, our ENT team will need to perform an upper endoscopy, which will make it easier for us to take a closer look at the esophagus and the lining. A tissue sample may also be collected. Additional tests such as a barium swallow test or motility testing may be needed to look at the upper GI to diagnose the cause of your swallowing problems or vocal changes.
How Are Vocal Changes and Swallowing Problems Treated?
We craft custom treatment plans based on the cause of your symptoms, as well as the type and severity. Lifestyle changes along with medications and speech therapy may provide relief for more minor symptoms. If nonsurgical treatments aren’t improving your symptoms, we’ll discuss whether surgery may be necessary.