Vocal cord problems and a change in the the voice can come from may sources. Typically, most forms of hoarseness are due to viral infections or vocal abuse and are generally known as laryngitis. Most of the time they will resolve on their own with time, vocal rest and hydration. However, when the voice does not recover in a 7-10 days or gets worse, then it is very important to get it checked out.
Common causes of long tern hoarseness include chronic cough, acid reflux problems, vocal abuse/screaming, nodules or polyps on the vocal cords and post nasal drainage. Tumors, both benign and malignant can also be the source of chronic voice changes. Vocal cord paralysis can also occur spontaneously.
Our physicians are highly trained to examine the neck and voice box area (larynx). Commonly, we will examine the inside of the throat and voice box area (including the vocal cords) with a small flexible fiber optic scope. This takes only a few minutes and is easy accomplished with a topical anesthetic spray. This gives us a lot of information to determine the cause for the hoarseness.