What are the alterations of the voice and what types can we distinguish?
The alterations of the voice, or the voice disorders are those pathologies that are produced by an alteration of the larynx and its related organs , which goes from the nasal pits to the beginning of the trachea. It is not considered a voice disorder, it would be really voice disorder, speech language, not just an injury of the larynx proper, because the larynx is the main organ to produce the voice but not the only thing, for example the cavities also intervene of resonance, as would the nostrils, as would be the oropharynx, as would the hypopharynx. We can distinguish fundamentally two, the alterations of the voice in two large groups , those that are functional and those that are organic.
That is, those in which we find an organic disorder, a malformation, an anatomical alteration of the normal structure of the larynx and the structures responsible for producing the voice. Those would be the organic ones. And in those that we do not find any organic disorder would be the functional. The generic term for voice disorders would be dysphonia, functional dysphonia and organic dysphonia. And within the organic would be the best known would be the nodules, polyps, cysts, edema, etc.. In turn, organic dysphonia is divided into congenital , that is, that is born with them, and acquired that are due to misuse of voice.
What are their causes and what symptoms do they present?
The main causes of voice disorders, in short, the main causes of dysphonia is usually, on the one hand, a use or abuse of the voice , for example in teachers, singers, ie voice professionals. And then there is another group of very important causes that is usually tobacco. And the third important group is the gastroesophageal reflux. The main symptoms or why patient comes to us, the otolaryngologist, is usually due to a change of voice, a dysphonia. He has trouble finishing the sentences, gets tired, fatigued, or his tone of voice has changed.
How can we treat voice alterations?
The treatment of voice disorders includes three large groups. On the one hand there would be medical or pharmacological treatment, on the other hand the rehabilitation or speech therapy treatment , and on the other hand the surgical treatment. Most of the time, not only the type of treatment is done, but all three together, which would be a mixed variant. The medical treatment includes mainly mucolytics, corticosteroids, anti-inflammatories. The logopédico treatment is that the patient has to treat a professional who works with us who is the speech therapist, who tries to rehabilitate, to change the vocal gesture. And finally the surgical treatment would be surgically solve by surgery that change, that structural alteration that exists in the larynx. It must be said that surgical treatment usually solves 10 or 20% of voice disorders. Most of the time it is solved with pharmacological treatment or with speech therapy treatment.