If you have a question or concern, send us an email. A doctor from one of our centers will answer your question in confidence. We may post the Q & A on the blog if space permits to help others who may have the same question, but will not use your name.

Sudden Hoarseness and Oral Candidiasis

Question:
My baby developed sudden hoarseness of voice then developed oral candidiasis then fever. After treatment, the candidiasis and fever were gone, but after about 3 weeks still has hoarseness. It should be known that he has attopic dermatitis and he was on hydrocortisone therapy, but we stopped that too for more than 3 weeks.
Best regards
BK
Answer:
I would suggest a consultation with an ENT specialist who sees babies. It may just take a little longer for the hoarseness to improve but an otolaryngologist could examine the voice box in the office with a Fiberoptic telescope.
Hope this helps clear things up.
Scott D. Gold, MD
If you have a question or concern, send us an email. A doctor from one of our centers will answer your question in confidence. We may post the Q & A on the blog if space permits to help others who may have the same question, but will not use your name.

I have a cyst on my arytenoid (in the larynx or voice box)-

Question:  
Hi Drs.  I have been diagnosed with a mucosal retention cyst on my arytenoid process.  I  know it has been there at least 1.5 yrs (I could feel it when breathing hard – it restricted my breathing) but I just had it checked out recently.  The CAT scan showed it was @1.1 cm in diameter.  My Dr. says I should have it removed and that it is a “simple” procedure.  I am most worried about the general anesthesia and possible damage to my teeth or trachea or wherever else the breathing tube goes.  So 2 questions: 1) Do you think I should get a 2nd opinion?  and 2), are these cysts ever aspirated instead of cut out?  Thanks you so much for your thoughts-

Answer:

The arytenoids are paired cartilages that attach to the back of the vocal cords.   By moving the arytenoids, we move the vocal cords-  apart for breathing and together for speaking.  While there can be a cyst (mucous containing sac) on an arytenoid- one more commonly sees granulomas-  which are areas of inflammation.   Granulomas usually come from reflux-  and treatment for reflux will often get these to resolve without intervention.  Cysts come from tissue getting filled with mucous from one of the many many mucous secreting tiny glands throughout the airway.  Usually after some type of trauma to the tissues-  swallowing the wrong way, acid reflux or some other unknown cause.

While cysts can be tumors or even cancers, this one clearly is felt to be nothing worrisome.  If there is a question of there being a tumor or cancer, clearly one should have it removed.

Otherwise, I would suggest removing this should it be growing or causing symptoms- such as hoarseness, difficulty breathing or discomfort.   Removing the cyst is a relatively easy, quick, simple procedure and can be done by most Ear Nose and Throat surgeons- or by a Laryngologist (subspecialist in voice)   It almost always is done with general anesthesia- and the risks are basically as you describe- but they are quite rare-

Removing the cyst involves taking the top off, so that it drains and heals open.  Usually, this would take a couple of minutes, total.   There is no advantage to to aspirating (suctioning out the cyst) as it is likely to refill- and is not really much less of a procedure.

In general, it never hurts to get another opinion…

I hope this helps clear things up.

Robert Pincus MD

Associate Professor Otolaryngology

NY Otolaryngology Group/ NY Voice Center

If you have a question or concern, send us an email. A doctor from one of our centers will answer your question in confidence. We may post the Q & A on the blog if space permits to help others who may have the same question, but will not use your name.

My voice has too high a pitch- what can I do?

Question:

I am 19 years old, male. I have a girly voice, I mean I am misunderstood as a lady most frequently when I answer the phone. this has been a great concern to me since most of my life but it really affected me after my friends got their voices roughen. And also once I am too tired or under a pressure situation words don’t come out, time to time once or two comes out, in these occasions people ask whether I am ill. Now I am fed up of this situation. Please……..can I know what the reason might be for this? Can I get a remedy for this, specially a non surgical one, please help me…….

Answer:

As a young male enters puberty, there is a change in the voice box (or larynx) that general makes the voice become lower in pitch.  This is the same change that makes a male’s “adam’s apple” more visible at this time.  In some, the change comes earlier and in others, later.

Having a voice that is “too high” can be quite stressful for a young man.  However, in most this will resolve-  If not, we would first recommend speech therapy, to help change how you use your vocal cords.

If that should fail, there is a simple surgical procedure, a type of thryoplasty, which removes some of the tension on the vocal cords and is generally  successful in lowering pitch.

I hope this clears things up.

Robert Pincus MD

If you have a question or concern, send us an email. A doctor from one of our centers will answer your question in confidence. We may post the Q & A on the blog if space permits to help others who may have the same question, but will not use your name.

My 5 month’s voice has gone hoarse after a long crying episode

Question:  

My 5 month’s voice has gone hoarse after a long crying episode…it happened about two days ago and I think his voice sounds raspy now and not as hoarse…he seems to have a hard time making the same high pitched sounds he used to be able to make during spontaneous vocalizations and during vocal play…what should I do? Any help from your specialists would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Answer: 

Thanks for your question.   It is not uncommon for anyone, babies included, to develop hoarseness after vocal abuse.  Certainly a long crying episode would fit.

When we breath- our vocal cords open to allow air to pass.   When we speak or make noise, the vocal cords come together.  They must come together smoothly for us to have a normal voice.  However, when we  speak loudly, or yell (or cry) – we are often banging the vocal cords together.   This causes swelling, so that the closure becomes uneven and we percieve hoarseness.   Most often, this is temporary, until the swelling goes down.   Sometimes, we can develop a nodule or a polyp from this-  which is really like a callus on the vocal cords.  This would cause the poor voice to persist.

Using your voice minimally (modified voice rest) would help in the healing process.   However, it is really impossible to get your baby to do so.

Almost always, his voice will come back to normal over the next few days or a week.  If not, he should have an ear nose and throat doctor take a look at the vocal cords, (laryngoscopy) to make sure there has been no significant damage.

I hope this clears things up.

Robert Pincus MD

Associate Professor Otolaryngology NY Medical College

NY Otolaryngology Group

If you have a question or concern, send us an email. A doctor from one of our centers will answer your question in confidence. We may post the Q & A on the blog if space permits to help others who may have the same question, but will not use your name.

Hoarseness for a Month — Should I See a Specialist?

Question:

I had a cough during the first week of the New Year and I lost my voice for about a week. Since then, I get my voice back very slowly and it had been exactly a month now but I still don’t have my full voice. My current voice sounds like I smoked for that last 30 years (I never smoked) and it faded when I try to raise my voice or say something at a higher pitch. Other than the voice change, I feel no other symptoms, even during my cough.

Is this something I should check with a specialist?

Answer:

Current guidelines are that anyone with hoarseness that persists for more than three weeks should have an evaluation to find the cause.  Rather than repeating the total discussion here, let me send you to the part of our web site that discusses this problem.

I hope this helps.

www.nyogmd.com/library/hoarseness/

Robert Pincus MD

Associate Professor Otolaryngology

NY Voice Center/ NY Sinus Center

If you have a question or concern, send us an email. A doctor from one of our centers will answer your question in confidence. We may post the Q & A on the blog if space permits to help others who may have the same question, but will not use your name.

Causes (And Treatments) For Your Infant’s Hoarse Voice

Unfortunately, even though infants don’t possess fully developed vocal skills, they’re not immune to the hoarseness and vocal problems that can plague adults. If you notice that your infant has a raspy voice, there are a number of simple causes and solutions for the hoarseness. Read the rest of this entry »