A prolonged change in the volume and quality of the voice is important to have fully assessed. There are a number of causes for someone to have a change in their voice and thankfully the commonest reasons are not serious. Examples include chronic laryngitis which involves long term inflammation of the voice box. This is often associated with over use of the voice, dehydration, smoking and sometimes acid reflux. Small benign growths can occur on the vocal cords within the voice box (larynx) including nodules, polyps and wart-like lesions.
Occasionally, serious causes can occur including cancers so a rapid assessment is vital. A flexible endoscope (small camera) passed through the nose can be used to assess the voice box (larynx) in the clinic which is quick, straightforward and painless. Further tests may also be recommended.
The structures of the throat may require examination under general anaesthetic whilst asleep. A laryngoscopy may be recommended to asses the larynx (voice box). The type of examination will depend upon the symptoms someone has and the details of the procedure will be discussed at the clinic consultation together with any risks involved.