Laryngology is the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, disorders and injury of the throat, larynx, nasopharynx and the tracheobronchial tree. The larynx is important for breathing, swallowing as well as producing sound (which is our voice). These are some of the diseases that commonly affect the larynx:
Laryngitis: an inflammation or swelling of the vocal chords
Vocal chord nodules: small, benign growths on the vocal chords
Vocal chord polyps: small blister like nodules often experience by heavy smokers
Vocal chord haemorrhage: sudden loss of voice due to strenuous vocal tasks
Spasmodic dysphonia: involuntary movement of one or more muscles of the larynx
Laryngeal papillomatosis; benign wart-like tumours growing inside the larynx, vocal chords or the respiratory tract leading from the nose into the lungs
Vocal Chord paralysis: vocal chords in the larynx do not open or close properly
Laryngopharyngeal reflux disease (LPRD): heartburn, acid reflux or GERD (gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
Laryngeal cancer: cancer tumours in the larynx
Laryngeal stenosis: narrowing of the airway
Dysphagia: difficulty with swallowing
If you notice symptoms of difficulty in speech, hoarseness, prolonged sore throat breathing problems, inflammation of the throat, difficulty swallowing, coughing blood, burning sensation in the chest, reflux, constant throat clearing, excessive mucus or phlegm, sensation of a lump in the throat you should consult your laryngologist immediately.
At Tooting Medical Centre our highly trained Laryngologist will take a full medical history, assess your symptoms and listen carefully to your concerns. The doctor will then perform a physical examination which may include a scope exam to visualise the larynx and throat.
There are many causes for conditions of the larynx, these include smoking and drinking which cause laryngeal cancer. Vocal abuse or overuse (professions which rely on their voice) may cause vocal chord nodules, polyps or laryngitis. Vocal chord paralysis can be caused by head trauma or neurological conditions (Parkinson’s disease), stroke, neck injury, cancer or a viral infection.
Most conditions affecting the larynx are treatable if you see your laryngologist immediately when you notice your symptoms. There are a variety of treatments depending on your diagnosis. They can range from a resting your voice, voice therapy, through to surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, or a combination of treatments.