You’re probably familiar with the unpleasant sensation of having a sore throat when you’ve got a cold, but this is just one of many throat issues that could affect you. If you've got pain, swelling, or swallowing problems in your throat, board-certified otolaryngologist Gerald Suh, MD, and his team at Princeton ENT and Sleep, LLC, can help. They specialize in diagnosing a wide range of throat problems from tonsillitis to vocal cord nodules. To get the treatment you need, call the Princeton, New Jersey, office today or book an appointment using the online tool.
Some of the more common throat issues that could affect you include:
Injuries to your vocal cords from overuse and smoking can lead to hoarseness and the formation of sores, nodules, and polyps on your throat.
Causes of swallowing disorders include gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), brain and spinal cord injuries, head, neck, or esophageal cancers, and nervous system disorders like Parkinson's disease.
Hoarseness is when your voice sounds strained or raspy and has a lower pitch. You might also have a scratchy or rough feeling in your throat. Hoarseness is typically a symptom of problems affecting the vocal folds in your larynx (voice box).
One of the most common causes of chronic throat clearing is laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR). LPR occurs when stomach contents rise up your throat, but unlike the acid reflux caused by GERD, LPR isn't usually painful. Another reason why many people constantly clear their throat is postnasal drip.
Your tonsils are in the back of your throat and form part of your body's defenses against infection. Tonsillitis is the main problem, causing swelling and throat pain. It can be due to a virus or a bacterial infection like strep throat.
To diagnose the cause of your throat issues, the team at Princeton ENT and Sleep, LLC, first conducts a physical exam, reviews your medical history, and discusses your current symptoms with you. They might then decide to perform further diagnostic tests, such as:
To perform fiberoptic laryngoscopy, the Princeton ENT and Sleep, LLC, team passes an endoscope (a tiny camera on a flexible tube) up your nose and down your throat. They can then see your larynx in great detail. The procedure is quick, and you only need an anesthetic spray to numb your throat.
Videostroboscopy is a way of visualizing the vibrations in your vocal folds, inside your larynx. Synchronized flashes of light from the stroboscope enable the team to see vocal fold vibration in apparent slow motion as you’re making sounds.
Treatment of your throat issues depends on what's causing the problem. For example, bacterial infections should clear up with the right antibiotics, while GERD requires lifestyle changes and acid-suppressing medication. Stopping smoking, reducing stress, and knowing how to look after your throat is also important.
Surgery might sometimes be necessary, for instance, if the team at Princeton ENT and Sleep, LLC, needs to remove nodules or polyps or perform a tonsillectomy. Conditions like dysphagia can often benefit from the use of voice and swallowing therapy.
To find out more about throat issues and get the right treatment, call Princeton ENT and Sleep, LLC, today or book an appointment online.