1. My 5 year old boy is having hoarse voice for past three months. What would be the best course of action?
A. Hoarse voice can be due to multiple factors like laryngitis, voice abuse(shouting and straining one's voice), vocal nodules etc. For a hoarseness that has persisted beyond two weeks, best advice would be to consult an ENT specialist and thereafter decide on further course of action. A detailed evaluation of the condition may require a "Videolaryngoscopy" to look at the status of the vocal cords.
2. My father who is 65 years old has developed a hoarseness of voice for past 1 month. He has been a smoker for past 40 years. Kindly help.
A. Change of voice in an elderly with history of smoking may be a sign of cancer of the voice box. Best option would be get a detailed examination (which may include an endoscopy) performed by an ENT specialist to rule out any such possibility.
3. I am singer by profession. For past few months, my voice cracks as i try to raise my pitch and i am not able to sustain my voice for prolonged periods. Kindly help.
A. The condition being descibed here is a classical description of "Vocal/ Singer's nodule". It commonly affects professional voice users like singers, doctors, lawyers, politicians, hawkers and even beggars. Further, this can be due to multiple other causes like Gastroesophageal reflux disease, vocal polyps, sulcus vocalis and certain systemic conditions. A proper assessment by an ENT specialist will allow us to make a proper diagnosis and plan a detailed line of management.
4. My 16 year old son has a very peculiar voice. It has a feminine feel. can anything be done about it?
A. This condition is known as "Puberphonia" and typically affects young adult males during their puberty. The voice doesnt completely change to the male voice pattern and thereby bacomes a cause of concern and embarassment. A detailed assessment by an ENT specialist will help in ruling out any other concomitant condition. Puberphonia is usually easily manageable by speech therapy and vocal exercises. In severe recalcitrant cases, laryngeal framework surgery may be performed.
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