HOW IS HOARSENESS EVALUATED?
Our Otolaryngologists will obtain a thorough history of a patient’s hoarseness and general health. They will then evaluate the voice and do a complete ear, nose and throat exam. This includes examination of the vocal folds by laryngoscopy. Laryngoscopy may be suggested by the otolaryngologist at any time during an evaluation for hoarseness, but if it persists beyond three weeks it should be evaluated and that evaluation should occur within a maximum of 3 months. The evaluation should be immediate if concern about a serious underlying cause is suspected.
Doctors usually look at the vocal folds either with a mirror placed in the back of the throat, or with a very small, lighted flexible tube (fiberoptic scope) that is passed through the nose to view the vocal folds. Videotaping or stroboscopy (slow-motion assessment) may also help with the analysis. These procedures are well tolerated by most patients. In some cases, special tests designed to evaluate the voice may be recommended. These measure voice irregularities, how the voice sounds, airflow and other characteristics that are helpful in diagnosing and guiding treatment.
WHEN SHOULD I SEE AN OTOLARYNGOLOGIST?
For more information on Hoarseness, please contact our office.