Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mucous in Throat

Should I be concerned when there is mucous present in the throat which requires me to clear my throat often. If I feel that there is a lump in my throat for longer than a month should I be concerned? Can post nasal drip be a factor?

Melissa Kim, M.S., CCC-SLP replies...

There are any number of reasons for the sensation of excessive mucous in the throat, lump (globus), and frequent throat clearing. A very common explanation for these symptoms is laryngopharyngeal reflux, irritation to the larynx from acid exposure, which often occurs even in the absence of symptoms such as heartburn, indigestion, etc.

I would suggest that you see an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician for an evaluation.

Good luck to you,

Melissa Kim M.S., CCC-SLP
Speech Pathology Coordinator

Glottal Fry

Could you address glottal fry and how effective is therapeutic invention (29 yr old male)? What diagnostic procedures are involved? There is no Reflux condition. Thanks...

Melissa Kim, M.S., CCC-SLP replies...

Anyone experiencing a persistent voice change should be evaluated by an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician, who will most likely visualize the vocal cords using a flexible or rigid endoscope. In the case of glottal fry, we often observe hyperfunction, or excessive strain, of the laryngeal musculature. Glottal fry is the lowest register of the voice, in other words, the voice produced at the lowest end of one's pitch range. Because persistent glottal fry is most often associated with inappropriately low pitch or loudness of the voice, voice therapy primarily targets behavioral modification of pitch and loudness. Voice therapy with an experienced speech pathologist, which is the only treatment available to treat habitual glottal fry, is very effective in most cases.

Best of luck to you.

Melissa Kim, M.S., CCC-SLP
Speech Pathology Coordinator

Tonsillectomy and Voice Change

I'm a singer and there is a possibility I will have to have a tonsillectomy. What will the tonsillectomy do to my voice? I heard that I might lose part of my upper register. Is that true? Also how long after a tonsillectomy can I begin singing again?

Melissa Kim, M.S., CCC-SLP replies...

In the short-term, individuals who have had a tonsillectomy may experience an alteration in resonance, but this resolves completely in most cases (in some cases, singers actually report improved resonance as removal of their often enlarged tonsils allows for greater resonating space!) There is no specific surgical consequence in which reduced pitch range would be expected, although sometimes a brief change in vocal quality may be noticed secondary to vocal cord swelling because of placement of the endotracheal tube for ventilation during the surgery; this typically resolves in a day or two.

Best of luck to you.
Melissa Kim, M.S., CCC-SLP