Everyone has voice problems at one time or another, but changes in your voice that persist may require treatment. Symptoms of vocal fold insufficiency include:
A low, raspy, or rough voice.
Inability to speak above a whisper.
Swallowing or breathing difficulty, especially if accompanied by ear pain.
Coughing or choking when swallowing.
Frequent throat clearing or the sensation that you have a lump in your throat.
These symptoms can also indicate the presence of throat cancer, so if your hoarseness lasts more than two weeks, or if you also have difficulty swallowing or other unexplained throat pain, you should see your doctor promptly.
How Are Voice Problems Evaluated?
Voice problems are usually diagnosed by an ear, nose, and throat doctor (an otolaryngologist). The first thing your doctor will do is take a medical history to identify your symptoms and how long you’ve had them. Then your doctor will listen to your voice and examine your vocal folds, either using a small mirror at the back of your mouth or by passing a flexible fiber optic tube (called an endoscope) through your nose (after numbing it) and into your throat. Your doctor will observe your vocal fold vibrations as you speak a series of sounds.
What Are My Treatment Options?
If you are diagnosed with vocal fold insufficiency, your doctor may recommend:
Speech therapy to help you learn to speak more comfortably without straining your vocal cords.
Surgery to move the vocal folds together, allowing them to vibrate properly.
In-office vocal fold augmentation with RADIESSE® Voice, an innovative injectable treatment that provides long-lasting results. Click here to learn more about treatment with RADIESSE Voice.
Important RADIESSE« VOICE and RADIESSE« Voice Gel Treatment Considerations
RADIESSE« Voice and RADIESSE« Voice Gel are FDA-cleared for vocal fold augmentation and vocal fold insufficiency associated with serious aspiration disorders. After injection, patients may experience transient throat soreness, bruising, swelling, or other local side effects. More rare side effects may include over-injection or under-injection that may require repeated intervention, and as with any injection there may be a risk of infection.