How would a doctor examine my throat?

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Abie H. Mendelsohn, MD
Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology)
Conditions of the throat, including pain, infection, hoarseness and swallowing difficulty, should be evaluated by a close examination of the throat. Full examination of the throat begins with visualization of the mouth. A wooden tongue depressor is used to see the tonsils and uvula. The back wall of the throat can generally be seen during this initial view. However, deeper areas of the throat cannot be seen by this view and an endoscope can be helpful to view recessed areas including the base (back) of the tongue, the larynx (voice box) and the opening to the esophagus (swallowing tube). There are two types of endoscopes to examine the throat. The first is a flexible endoscope, which is placed through the nose towards the throat. The second is a rigid endoscope, which sits on the tongue and is angled downwards to view the throat without extending into the throat. 
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
A vocal cord examination can seem daunting. In this video, Dr. Oz demonstrates a machine that makes examining the throat and vocal cords easy and painless.



Continue Learning about Vocal Cord Dysfunction

Vocal Cord Dysfunction

Vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) is also known as vocal cord asthma or paradoxical vocal fold motion. Your vocal cords are located at the top of your windpipe. Normal vocal cords open as you breathe in to allow air in to the lungs, an...

d when you breathe out, allowing air to flow out into the atmosphere. VCD occurs when your vocal cords obstruct airflow by closing or constricting together during breathing. Only a small opening remains for airflow when your vocal cords close. Vocal cord dysfunction results in asthma-like symptoms including wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. VCD is often mistaken for asthma because of the similar symptoms, but if you have VCD asthma medications will be ineffective. If you suspect you may have VCD talk to your doctor. Treatments include breathing exercises, speech therapy and relaxation techniques.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.