FAQs About Hoarseness

If you are experiencing chronic hoarseness and live near Pittsfield, MA, you can trust Dr. Giulio I. Cavalli to properly diagnose and heal your vocal injury. Dr. Cavalli is an Otolaryngologist, also known as an ENT, who is a doctor that specializes in ear, nose, and throat disorders. Below is an overview of frequently asked questions about hoarseness.

What Are the Symptoms of Vocal Hoarseness?

Hoarseness is often related to medical issues in the larynx, particularly the vibration of the vocal folds. Vocal hoarseness can manifest as a raspy, breathy speaking tone that requires strain in order to produce. Hoarseness, also known as acute laryngitis, can make it difficult to produce adequate speaking volume and is often due to swelling of the vocal folds. 

What Are Some Common Reasons for Vocal Hoarseness?

Causes of hoarseness can range from overuse or misuse of the voice, laryngitis from common colds and respiratory infections, or gastroesophageal reflux (heartburn), which occurs when the stomach acid rises up through the vocal tract and irritates the larynx and vocal folds. Dr. Cavalli will do a thorough examination of your lifestyle and recent activities to determine if the cause is due to one of these issues.

What Are the More Serious Reasons for Vocal Hoarseness?

If hoarseness is not treated in a timely manner, it can lead to polyps, cysts, or vocal nodules. Polyps and nodules are benign, non-cancerous growths, similar to callouses, that occur on the vocal folds as a result of excessive use. Vocal nodules are commonly found in singers, teachers, and other professionals that use their voice extensively. If these issues are not treated promptly, they can lead to vocal fold hemorrhage or vocal cord paralysis, so it is important to make an appointment with Dr. Cavalli in Pittsfield, MA if excessive hoarseness is experienced for longer than two to three weeks. 

Should I Be Worried About Cancer or Neurological Disorders?

In the most serious cases, hoarseness can be related to neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke, thyroid problems, and laryngeal cancer. While these diseases are less commonly diagnosed, Dr. Cavalli will do a thorough examination of your vocal tract and underlying symptoms to rule out more serious causes.

To address the causes of vocal hoarseness in the Pittsfield, MA region, make an appointment with our Otolaryngologist Dr. Cavalli today. He will provide a comprehensive neck and head exam and observe the movement of the vocal folds with a fiber optic scope procedure known as a Flexible Laryngoscopy. More serious cases may involve a Video Stroboscopy to diagnose vocal cord abnormalities. Treatments may include speech therapy, medication, or surgical intervention. Contact Dr. Cavalli at (413) 443-6116.