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ENTACC Services, Patient Exam

Hoarseness occurs when an inflammation of the larynx changes the voice, making it sound raspy, scratchy, or strained. The throat might become sore and there may be some fluctuations in volume and pitch, as well. Hoarseness is otherwise known as dysphonia, which refers to voice impairment or any voice disorder.

What Causes Hoarseness?

Hoarseness is caused by a variety of different conditions including, cold or sinus infections, voice misuse or abuse, benign vocal cord lesions, acid reflux, vocal hemorrhage, tobacco and alcohol use, thyroid diseases, cancer, trauma to the voice box, viral infection, and neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s or spasmodic dysphonia, a chronic vocal cord disorder.

The most common cause is acute laryngitis or swelling of the vocal folds. This occurs during a cold, upper respiratory infection, or from voice strain. Serious injury to the vocal folds may result from strenuous voice use during acute laryngitis.

How Is Hoarseness Treated?

Many times, hoarseness clears up on its own without any medical intervention. Resting the voice is usually the best form of treatment. Surgery may be recommended if lesions are present. Voice therapists can teach patients to alter their methods of speech production to improve the sound of the voice and resolve problems, such as vocal nodules.

Eliminate spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine from your diet, give up cigarettes, avoid activities such as shouting, whispering, or using inappropriate pitch or volume. These activities will help manage virtually any chronic hoarseness symptoms.

Schedule an appointment with ENTACC if hoarseness lasts more than three weeks, is not accompanied by cold or flu symptoms, affects your ability to swallow or breathe, or otherwise interferes with your livelihood.

You will be given a thorough examination and may be given a laryngoscopy. Treatment depends on the cause but it’s likely to include drugs, surgery, and/or voice therapy.

Erin O. from Downingtown, PA

“I had stopped taking my allergy medicine and ended up with the worse sinus infection of my life. The staff at Ear, Nose & Throat Associates of Chester County genuinely will provide you with the best care. I was overwhelmed by the kindness, concern, and sense of urgency everyone gave. My phone calls were returned promptly and time was made to see me in the office when it was an emergency.”

Connie J. from West Chester, PA

“I can say after years of coming to Ear, Nose & Throat Associates of Chester County, my relationship and trust with Dr. Marriotti has grown tremendously. He is personable, friendly and I appreciate his input with my hearing condition. The staff at Ear, Nose & Throat Associates of Chester County is always cheery and pleasant. I enjoy my visits and always leave feeling like I am in good hands.”

Dauna P. from University Lincoln, PA

“I am so grateful for the care Dr. Picariello has given for my complex and serious brain diagnosis. He has made such an impression on the way the process was handled. I shall never forget him and how humble he was when dealing with my condition. He is truly one of the best around and I am fortunate for his high ethical standards and professionalism.”

Kathy S. from Schwenksvile, PA

“The knowledge, encouragement, concern, and individual attention the doctors of Ear, Nose & Throat Associates of Chester County had demonstrated was far beyond my expectations. The office atmosphere is professional yet friendly. The doctors know their profession well and are able to explain in basic understandable terms. They made sure we were comfortable and took their time going over everything extensively.”

James B., from Coatesville, PA

“The allergy shot process has been a great experience and has prevented a reoccurrence of my nasal polyps, and decreased the need for my asthma inhaler. The allergy staff is excellent.”