Voice Disorders

What is a voice disorder?

A voice disorder involves problems with pitch, volume, tone and other qualities of the voice. These problems occur when the vocal cords don’t vibrate normally.

Common voice disorders include:

  • Laryngitis – when the vocal cords swell, causing hoarseness or inability to speak.
  • Vocal cord paresis or paralysis – when the vocal cords are paralyzed or partially paralyzed.
  • Spasmodic dysphonia – a nerve problem that causes the vocal cords to spasm, making the voice sound tight, quivery, jerky, hoarse or groaning.

What causes a voice disorder?

Anything that interferes with vocal cord movement or contact can cause a voice disorder. Possible causes include:

  • Growths
  • Inflammation and swelling
  • Nerve problems
  • Hormones
  • Misuse of the voice

What are common symptoms of a voice disorder?

If you have a voice disorder, your voice may:

  • Have a quivering sound
  • Sound rough or hoarse
  • Sound strained or choppy
  • Sound weak, whispery or breathy
  • Sound too high or low or change pitch

You may also experience pain or feel like your voice box is tired. You may also feel a lump in your throat when swallowing or feel pain when you touch the outside of your throat.

How do you diagnose a voice disorder?

An office visit and physical exam, as well as some diagnostic testing, will help determine whether you have a voice disorder. Tests include: laryngoscopy, laryngeal electromyography (EMG), stroboscopy, and imaging (X-ray or MRI).

How do you treat a voice disorder?

Treatment varies depending on the cause of the voice disorder and ranges from lifestyle changes and speech therapy to medicine, injections and/or surgery.


Find Out More

To learn more about Gwinnett ENT or schedule an appointment, call 678-312-7390 or schedule online. 

  • Gwinnett ENT
    3855 Pleasant Hill Road,Suite 280
    Duluth, GA 30096

    Office: 678-312-7390

  • Gwinnett ENT

    3855 Pleasant Hill Road,Suite 280
    Duluth, GA 30096

    Hours of Operation

    Monday, Wednesday and Thursday:
    8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

    Tuesday: 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

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