Diagnosis and Treatment of Voice Disorders

Voice disorders can be broken down into four treatable categories, and the experts at Henry Ford can investigate them using proven methods.

Types of voice disorders

Voice disorder types and treatments:

  • Common laryngitis, caused by vocal stress, is typically treated conservatively with vocal rest, including avoiding vigorous activities like singing and shouting
  • Acute laryngitis, cause by a virus, will usually resolve on its own
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease may be treated with an acid blocker
  • Dysphonia (chronic hoarseness) may require surgical intervention. If hoarseness persists more than two weeks, you should consult an otolaryngologist.
Vocal professionals count on Henry Ford

The Henry Ford Center for the Performing Artist is one-of-a-kind in Michigan and one of the longest running programs in the United States, working with both professional and amateur performers.

Center for Performing Artist

How Henry Ford doctors diagnose voice disorders

A Henry Ford otolaryngologist can examine your larynx (voicebox) through:

  • Indirect laryngoscopy-- using a mirror to see the down your throat.
  • Video-laryngoscopy-- inserting a flexible fiber-optic tube (endoscope) through the nose or a rigid, angled telescope through the mouth. With a tiny video camera that is mounted on the endoscope, the doctor observes and digitally records vocal cord activity while you speak or sing.
  • Videostroboscopy-- if needed, a strobe light can provide stop-action photography that details the precise vibration of your vocal cords in slow motion. This technique allows the doctor to see even the smallest, subtlest lesions and evaluate how they are affecting your vocal fold vibration. It is highly accurate, and is helpful for pre-operative planning and post-operative care. Videostroboscopy equipment can only be found at state-of-the-art voice centers like Henry Ford.
  • Direct laryngoscopy -- looking directly at your larynx by inserting a small lighted tube through the mouth. This procedure is usually done under general anesthesia.
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