Patients often become hoarse or have a weak voice during and following an upper respiratory tract infection. This usually improves after several weeks.
Hoarseness or vocal fatigue that persists for one month should be evaluated by an otolaryngologist. This condition can be caused by sinus conditions, post-nasal drip, nodules or masses of the vocal cords, paralysis of the vocal cords, and acid reflux.
Acid reflux or GERD is an increasingly common phenomenon as people live longer and as the average weight of Americans increases over time. Poor eating habits can also contribute to this condition along with anatomical changes in the stomach and esophagus. Silent reflux can cause many ear, nose and throat symptoms without the patient even being aware that they have reflux. Patients are oftentimes confused and surprised to find out that they have silent reflux. Silent reflux causes many symptoms which may present as a tickle in the throat, Post nasal drip, chronic throat clearing, throat pain, or chronic cough. Reflux may also cause mild swallowing problems or a “lump” sensation in the throat.
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