Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Recurrent Crackling Voice and Burning Throat

Hi. I am a 26 year old woman who lives in the UK. I have been to see a doctor about my symptoms. They told me not to worry, but I am concerned and would like to improve them. Around 6 months ago, I went camping and suffered a large coughing fit when getting some food lodged in my throat. Since then, I have experienced my symptoms recurrently. Around once a week, I experience a crackly voice for around 3 days. If this is a particularly difficult session, I get a scratchy / burning feeling also. After 3 days, I am back to normal for a week, as though it never happened! This is not getting worse, and I do not feel a lump in my throat, I am not losing weight or do not get food stuck when trying to swallow. I do talk quite a bit in my job and enjoy singing in my car. I would really like two things - a little reassurance that my symptoms do not (on the balance of probabilities) point to something sinister, and secondly, some advice on what I might be able to try to reduce my symptoms. Thank you so much.

Melissa Kim M.S., CCC-SLP replies...
I certainly can't comment, without having evaluated you personally, whether or not your symptoms are pointing to something sinister, although it sounds as though you've had a physician's examination that was reassuring. It is also difficult for me to suggest strategies to reduce your symptoms because I don't know your diagnosis - what did your physician feel was the cause of your symptoms?

Hi and thank you for your response. I'm afraid my physician was very vague - because I don't have any accompanying symptoms, she couldn't feel anything abnormal on the exterior of my neck, I am not loosing weight or getting food stuck, she said it could be "damage" to the vocal chords or a "nodule". I'm afraid I am terrified of having a camera down my throat. Is there a method that I could use to rule out sinister causes and rehabilitate my voice? 

Melissa Kim M.S., CCC-SLP replies...
No, unfortunately there is no other method to assess the larynx. If you want to know the reason behind your symptoms, and determine what type of treatment/ rehabilitation would be appropriate, an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician should visualize the larynx. The exam is quick and painless - even small children tolerate it without a problem! 

Good luck!

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