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What Are the Different Types of Voice Disorders?

The larynx is commonly called the voice box.
A doctor examining a child for a voice disorder.
Article Details
  • Written By: Harriette Halepis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 April 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Voice disorders can be caused by a number of different things. Smoking, frequent clearing of the throat, talking too much, screaming, infections, and certain types of cancer can all affect the throat area. Most voice disorders are a direct result of an infection or irritation of the larynx.

The larynx consists of two different groups of muscles that are referred to as vocal cords. When these muscles vibrate, sound is produced. If the vocal cords have been affected by any kind of disease, stress, or irritation, vibration will be kept to a minimum. The number one cause of throat irritation is acute laryngitis.

Acute laryngitis is caused by a viral infection that creeps into the vocal cords. This infection causes the vocal cords to swell, which restricts vibration. The result of acute laryngitis is often a hoarse or sore throat that becomes irritated during speech. Acute laryngitis can be cured by reduced speech over a period of time.

Chronic laryngitis is another type of voice disorder that is quite common. Chronic laryngitis can be caused by acute infections such as yeast infections. Smoke inhalation and acid reflux can also cause chronic laryngitis. Incredibly, dase can also cause loss of voice. Many times, acid reflux can actually impact vocal cords; this can even occur without any other acid reflux symptoms.

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While most types of voice disorders are not very serious, there are some voice disorders that should be attended to right away. Throat cancer is a life-threatening disease that must be addressed immediately. Throat cancer is also referred to as laryngeal cancer, nd this type of cancer may masquerade as simple acute laryngitis at first.

Throat cancer can be cured if it is detected right away. Unfortunately, most people don't bother to visit with a otolaryngologist following voice loss. An otolaryngologist is a specialized throat doctor who can determine the cause of a hoarse throat almost immediately. A sudden change in the sound of one's voice can be an indication of throat cancer. While most people who suffer from sore throats and loss of voice are not suffering from throat cancer, it is crucial that this disease be ruled out right away.

There are some things that can be done to prevent simple voice disorders. These things include avoiding smoke of any kind, skipping spicy food that can cause acid reflux, drinking plenty of water, avoiding caffeinated beverages, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of sleep.

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