Production of voice is a complex system involving the voice box, lungs and muscles of the mouth and throat. There are several different voice disorders which can have a large impact on patients, both at home and in the workplace.
There are multiple causes of voice pathology. Dr Levin will initially focus on ruling out serious causes such as cancer, although this is not the most common cause of voice problems. More common causes include voice misuse or overuse e.g. teachers and singers, and laryngopharyngeal reflux disease. Nodules, polyps and other conditions such as muscle tension dysphonia (over-functioning of the muscles of and around the voice box) or spasmodic dysphonia (stuttering of the vocal cords) can affect the voice significantly. Lung diseases can also affect the quality of one’s voice and need to be considered.
High quality, specialised equipment is necessary to examine the voice box as some changes may be subtle and can easily be overlooked. Dr Levin has both paediatric and adult endoscopes (cameras) of the highest quality to carefully examine your voice box. Sometimes additional radiological tests (e.g. CT or MRI) may be necessary after the voice box has been carefully examined.
Treatment options depend on the cause of the problem but include the institution of good vocal hygiene measures, medications, surgery and involvement of speech pathologists with interests in voice problems. Dr Levin works closely with a number of speech pathologists, including voice specialists. He will be able to treat the ENT causes of your voice problems, but can also recommend the appropriate speech pathologist for ongoing care, if this is required.