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Dysphonia & Hoarseness

Tahir S. Ali, MD

Otolaryngology & Ear, Nose & Throat Specialist located in Fort Worth, TX

If your voice is hoarse, raspy, or weak, or if its volume or pitch changed, it could be due to a variety of conditions ranging from laryngitis to dysphonia. In Fort Worth, Texas, Tahir Ali, MD, and his team diagnose and treat dysphonia and hoarseness with customized, state-of-the-art treatment plans. Call or schedule a consultation online to find out what’s causing the changes to your voice and get the expert treatment you need.

Dysphonia & Hoarseness Q&A

What is dysphonia?

Dysphonia is a neurological condition that interferes with the function of your vocal cords. Usually, when you speak, you push air over your vocal cords, which makes them vibrate and generate sound. However, when you have dysphonia, your brain sends abnormal signals to your vocal cords, which can make them vibrate uncontrollably, making your voice hoarse and uneven. 

There are several types of dysphonia, including adductor spasmodic dysphonia, abductor spasmodic dysphonia, and mixed spasmodic dysphonia. Each type causes muscle spasms that affect the way your vocal cords open and move in different ways. 

What are the other causes of hoarseness?

In most cases, hoarseness is due to irritated or injured vocal cords. Your voice box, or larynx, is the part of your respiratory tract that surrounds your vocal cords. Laryngitis, which is inflammation of your larynx and vocal cords, is the most common cause of hoarseness. Other causes of hoarseness include:

  • Vocal cord nodules
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
  • Allergies
  • Thyroid problems
  • Cancer of the larynx

Your voice might also be hoarse because of overuse. If you use your voice for a living, perhaps as a teacher or singer, you have an increased risk of irritating your vocal cords just by doing your job.

How is the cause of hoarseness diagnosed?

Dr. Ali provides full laryngeal exams from the convenience of his office. He begins by reviewing your medical history and symptoms. He examines your voice box and throat, feeling your neck from the outside and using a lighted device with a mirror to see into your respiratory tract. 

Dr. Ali also uses a flexible fiberoptic endoscope to examine your vocal cords and larynx in magnified detail. This allows him to identify nodules, tumors, and other abnormalities that could contribute to your hoarseness. 

How are hoarseness and dysphonia treated?

Dr. Ali provides customized treatments to address the root cause of your hoarse voice. Depending on your needs, you might benefit from resting your voice or speech therapy. Dr. Ali can provide referrals to therapists who specialize in professional voices, if necessary. He can also perform surgery to remove nodules or tumors that interfere with your voice. 

If you have a hoarse voice, call Dr. Ali's office or make an appointment online today to find out what’s causing your raspy voice and get customized treatment.