Many of us experience problems with our voices and this can affect our occupation and daily lives as it is our main source of communication. Common causes include typical colds, allergies, acid reflux, chronic voice use or overuse, and exposure to chemical irritants. Muscle tension can be a compensatory response to these factors, further causing increasing vocal dysfunction.
Swallowing disorders can occur due to an upper airway or esophageal cause. Just as there is a series of events that allows us to speak, there is a more complex series that allows us to swallow. Voice and swallowing disorders can be associated as they both require muscles of the voice box initially. Diagnosis is typically made with a complete upper airway examination, barium swallow, speech language pathology assessment and possible referral to a gastroenterologist. At Indigo ENT, we can help evaluate the upper airway to help guide any potential treatments.