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Voice Disorders

Southern ENT & Sinus Center

Otolaryngologists located in Birmingham, AL

A change in the tone or quality of your voice may be signs of a voice disorder. At Southern ENT & Sinus Center in Birmingham, Alabama, the skilled team of otolaryngologists, which includes D. Trent Lowery, MD, David Walters, MD, and Matthew Fort, MD, use advanced diagnostic tools and therapies to diagnose and treat voice disorders. To schedule a consultation to find out why the quality of your voice has changed, call the office or book online today.

Voice Disorders Q & A

What are voice disorders?

Voice and voice swallowing disorders include conditions that affect the normal function or structure of your voice box. The following are types of voice disorders:


Swelling of your vocal cords causes laryngitis, which makes your voice sound hoarse. Laryngitis may be acute, developing during a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

You can also develop chronic laryngitis from a chronic cough or acid reflux.

Vocal cord paralysis

Paralysis or partial paralysis of your vocal cords may also affect the sound, pitch, volume, or tone of your voice. Vocal cord paralysis may develop during a viral infection or occur from nerve damage caused by injury or surgery. 

Spasmodic dysphonia

Spasmodic dysphonia is a nerve dysfunction that causes your vocal cords to spasm. 

Swallowing disorder

A swallowing disorder, or dysphagia, may also be the underlying cause of the change in your voice. The disorder may affect one of the three phases of your swallow: the oral phase, pharyngeal phase, or esophageal phase.

The otolaryngologists at Southern ENT & Sinus Center can diagnose and treat oropharyngeal swallowing disorders. 

Cysts, nodules, or polyps

Cysts, nodules, or polyps that grow in your larynx or voice box may also affect the quality of your voice, leading to a voice disorder. 

What are the symptoms of voice disorders?

Voice disorder symptoms vary in type and severity based on the underlying cause. Common symptoms include:

  • Voice quivering
  • Hoarseness
  • Weak, whispery, or low voice
  • High-pitched voice
  • Strained or choppy voice

Voice disorders may also cause pain, or you may feel as though you have a lump in your throat. 

How are voice disorders diagnosed?

The experienced team at Southern ENT & Sinus Center conducts in-depth evaluations to diagnose voice disorders. 

During the exam, your provider asks detailed questions about your symptoms, including when they started. They also review your medical and family history and lifestyle habits that may contribute to a voice disorder.

To confirm or rule out a suspected diagnosis, your provider may request an in-house CT scan to get a better look at your larynx and voice box. 

How are voice disorders treated?

Treatment for your voice disorder is individualized based on the underlying cause. Your treatment plan may include:

  • Lifestyle changes (e.g., smoking cessation)
  • Speech therapy
  • Disease-specific medications
  • Injections

For abnormal growths or vocal nodules, the experts at Southern ENT & Sinus Center may use minimally invasive surgical techniques to remove them.

Hoarseness may develop from many causes. To get the answers you need, contact Southern ENT & Sinus Center by phone or book an appointment online today.