Ear, Nose and Throat

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    Laryngoscopy is a procedure to examine the larynx. Fiberoptic laryngoscopy can be performed in the office using thin flexible scopes while the patient is awake. Laryngocopy with other instruments is performed under anesthesia in the operating room.
    Using a thin, lighted tube called a fiberoptic laryngoscope, your doctor will view the airways and the structure and function of the voice box, including the motion of the vocal cords.
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    The larynx is an organ at the front of your neck. It is also called the voice box. It is about 2 inches long and 2 inches wide. It is above the windpipe (trachea). Below and behind the larynx is the esophagus.

    The larynx has two bands of muscle that form the vocal cords. The cartilage at the front of the larynx is sometimes called the Adam's apple. The larynx has three main parts:

    The top part of the larynx is the supraglottis. The glottis is in the middle. Your vocal cords are in the glottis. The subglottis is at the bottom. The subglottis connects to the windpipe. The larynx plays a role in breathing, swallowing, and talking.

    The larynx acts like a valve over the windpipe. The valve opens and closes to allow breathing,

     

    This answer is based on source information from  the National Cancer Institute.

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    As we age, our vocal cords experience thinning, which causes the edges of the vocal cords (which normally close completely together) to no longer meet as they should. The result is a thinned, diminished voice, commonly heard in older people. 

    Common symptoms of presbylaryngis include:

    • A higher, thinned, reedy voice
    • Voice being hard to hear
    • Need to use more effort to speak
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    Drink lots of water—which lubricates the vocal cords and helps them vibrate better—don’t smoke, and limit excessive yelling and screaming. Speak on full, deep breaths and pause to take a breath before you run out of air. If your voice starts feeling fatigued or rough, your body is telling you to back off on how much you’re using your voice.
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    A answered
    The uvula is the small fleshy tissue that extends down from the soft palate of the roof of your mouth and dangles over the back of your tongue, looking a bit like the ringer inside of a bell. This combination of muscle and glandular tissue produces saliva and is also thought to be important to normal speech and swallowing.

    In some people, a long uvula can contribute to snoring by creating a noisy flutter during sleep. If the long uvula and/or soft palate cause breathing problems as well, surgery may be recommended.

    Some infants are born with a split (bifid) uvula, which can signal a cleft palate in the soft palate of the roof of the mouth. These infants may be watched carefully as they grow into toddlers for speech problems to determine whether surgery to repair the cleft palate is needed.
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    A answered
    Tonsils and adenoids are glands that are part of your body's lymphatic system and help to protect you from germs that enter your body through your mouth and nose. Your tonsils are two round lumps of tissue located at the back of your throat that you can see in a mirror if you open your mouth wide. Your adenoids are lymph tissues that are not visible through your mouth or nose, but sit high in your throat, behind your nose and above the roof of your mouth.

    Although tonsils and adenoids protect you from infection, they sometimes can become infected and some people have repeated infections that may include abscesses on the tonsils. In other people, tonsils and/or adenoids can become enlarged, causing problems with normal breathing, swallowing and sleeping. If these problems occur, your doctor may recommend surgical removal of the tonsils (tonsillectomy) and/or the adenoids (adenoidectomy).
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    A answered
    Vocal cords are two folds of tissue inside the larynx (voice box), located at the top of the windpipe, which are needed for normal talking, singing, breathing and swallowing. Your vocal cords open when you are breathing and close when you are swallowing or talking.

    In order for you to speak normally, air flows from your lungs to your vocal cords, causing your vocal cords to vibrate to produce sound. The pitch and sound of your voice are determined by the length and tension of your vocal cords, controlled by the muscles in your larynx. Your throat, nose and mouth are also involved in shaping those sounds into words, and notes (if you are singing) and adding resonance to your voice.

    If one or both of your vocal cords are malfunctioning, you will have voice problems. Some common vocal cord problems include:
    • laryngitis, a raspy or hoarse voice due to inflammation of the vocal cords
    • vocal nodules, noncancerous growths on the vocal cords caused by overuse or straining the voice
    • vocal polyps, blister-like growths on the vocal cords that can make your voice sound raspy or breathy
    • vocal cord paralysis, a common condition that occurs when one or both vocal cords don't open and close properly
    See your doctor if you experience hoarseness or other voice problems that last longer than two weeks.
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    Once considered a nuisance and frequently removed surgically, the tonsils do serve an immune system role. They are the respiratory system's first line of defense; trapping and neutralizing infections before they can migrate to the bronchial passages. Children's tonsils are large; they reach their maximum size around age six or seven and then start to shrink.

    Because of their continuous exposure to infections and germs, the tonsils sometimes become overwhelmed by infection, resulting in tonsillitis. There are no long term downsides to having your tonsils removed.

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    A , Gastroenterology, answered
    Studies show that, from time to time, most people experience a lump, foreign body sensation or sense of a ball in the throat when they have an intense emotional experience. The term globus is Latin for ball or globe. Functional globus is typically felt in the throat at the level of the Adam's apple. Globus must be distinguished from the medical problem called dysphagia, which occurs during eating and drinking.
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    A , Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology), answered

    When to remove tonsils continues to be contoversial. The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (professional assn for ear nose and throat doctors) recently issued some guidelines. To see them , check www.entnet.org.

    If you have a tonsillectomy for recurrent tonsillitis, it will usually lessen the number and severity of infections, but not necessarily eliminate sore throats,since you can still get colds or pharyngitis.