Dysphonia is a medical term meaning disorder of the voice and describes hoarseness. Hoarseness that lasts more than four weeks can sometimes indicate a more serious problem.
Symptoms of dysphonia may include:
- Dry, scratchy throat
- Hoarse voice
- Sore throat
Causes of dysphonia
- Inflammation of the larynx or voice box over a short
or long period of time.
- Lumps (nodules) on the vocal cords
- Underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism)
- Trauma to the vocal cords can cause scarring and
affect the voice function.
- Reinke’s edema of the larynx
- Psychological - voice changes can occur when people are under stress. You may lose your voice suddenly, usually after a cold. It is important to identify and remove the underlying stress. Speech therapy can be useful for treating this cause.
Evaluation and Treatment
- Your doctor will use an angled mirror, or flexible
fiberoptic telescope to determine the cause of your hoarseness.
- Depending on the cause of your hoarseness, your
doctor will order more tests, or prescribe a regimen of medical and speech
therapies for treatment.
- Treatment of your hoarseness may include evaluation
and therapy with speech pathologists.
- If your hoarseness is a symptom of a more serious condition, your doctor will guide you in seeking treatment from other experienced specialists at Washington Hospital Center.
As always, you will discuss all treatment options with your doctor before making a final decision.