Singing is an athletic endeavor and like any athlete singers can become injured. Although most minor injuries will heal, sometimes, professional singers develop chronic problems that require medical intervention. Dr. David Astrachan is a singer himself, and together with Dr. Craig Hecht at Ear Nose and Throat Specialists of Connecticut, he helps singers with any concerns regarding their voice. In fact, the practice regularly works with opera singers and other professional singers, helping them restore and protect their voices.
Hoarseness is considered any abnormal changes in the voice. Hoarseness can cause the voice to sound strained, raspy, breathy, or soft. It can also change the pitch of the voice.
Changes in the vocal folds of the voice box are the most common cause of hoarseness. When an individual is singing or talking, the vocal folds come together, and air leaving the lungs causes them to vibrate. This produces the sound others can hear. Any swelling or lumps on these folds prevent this from happening properly. Some common reasons for this include:
With the large list of potential causes, patients often have trouble determining what's causing their particular problem with hoarseness. Ear Nose and Throat Specialists of Connecticut can help.
Dr. Astrachan and Dr. Hecht perform a thorough history of a patient's health and hoarseness problems. They then perform a voice evaluation and a thorough exam of the ear, nose, and throat often using fiber optic technology to directly visualize the voice box and vocal cords . This allows them to get to the bottom of the problem and find a solution.
How are singer disorders and other hoarseness problems treated?
Like most problems, the treatment depends on the cause. Sometimes resting the voice or modifying the way it's used is all that's necessary to treat vocal disorders. Removing polyps and other lesions may restore the voice. Patients should avoid smoking and increase fluid intake to increase their vocal quality.
Because Dr. Astrachan is a vocalist, he can help singers learn measures they can take to protect their voices. Proper singing technique and proper rest helps prevent hoarseness for those patients who use their voices on a regular basis.
When should someone see a doctor for hoarseness?
If hoarseness lasts longer than 3 weeks, it's best to see a doctor. Most causes of hoarseness are temporary, and this length of time indicates an underlying problem that should be addressed. Any severe changes in voice that last more than a few days without improvement warrant a call to Ear Nose and Throat Specialists of Connecticut.
At Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists of Connecticut, we accept most major insurance plans including Medicare. Here is a short-list of just some of the most popular plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.
"Dr. Hecht was dilligent in pursuing a cause for my symptoms and ultimately caught and corrected a life-threatening condition."
"Recently had a septoplasty performed by Dr. Astrachan and he did an amazing job and I'm only a week into my new nose. . Nose looks great and I can breathe once again..."