Throat & Voice Treatment in Savannah, GA
Coastal Ear, Nose & Throat specializes in conditions of the throat and voice such as vocal nodules, dysphagia, and infections of the tonsils or adenoids. We partner with companies such as Watermark, Encore and Siesta Medical to diagnose and treat these conditions. Call us at (912) 355-2335 for more information or to make an appointment with one of our exceptional providers.
Conditions and Services
There can be many causes of a sore throat. If you are getting sore throats frequently, our specialists will work to determine the underlying cause and put together a proper plan for treatment.
A tonsillectomy and an adenoidectomy are surgical procedures to remove tonsils and adenoids. Occasionally, tonsils can become inflamed or infected. Adenoids can also become inflamed or infected as well as becoming enlarged. If symptoms are severe enough or occur with great frequency, a tonsillectomy will be performed to remove the tonsils and an adenoidectomy will be done to remove the adenoids.
Treatment for Tonsillitis and Adenoiditis
Your physician can decide upon the best treatment based upon age, overall health, medical history, type of infection and a child’s tolerance for medication or therapies. Treatment also depends upon the severity of the infection and the frequency with which the child develops infections. While antibiotics can help, a physician may refer you to an Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon to have the tonsils and adenoids removed.
Conditions indicating a Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy include:
- Sleep apnea, or periods during sleep when someone stops breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Tumor in the throat or nasal passage
- Bleeding from tonsils
- Nasal passage blockages and uncomfortable breathing
- Severe sore throats in one year
- Five sore throats in each of two years
- Three sore throats in each of three years
- Sore throats with fever above 101º F, discharge on the tonsils, positive strep throat culture.
Additional and controversial symptoms indicating tonsil and adenoid removal include:
- Considerable snoring
- Frequent throat infections or abscesses
- Frequent ear infections
- Varying degrees of hearing loss
- Sinus infections
- Ongoing mouth breathing
- Frequent colds
- Bad breath
In all cases, a physician should be consulted for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Surgery and Recovery
Tonsillectomies and Adenoidectomies are generally performed on an outpatient basis and most patients can go home on the same day as the surgery. Since the surgery requires a general anesthesia, the patient will be anesthetized in the operating room where the surgeon will then remove the tonsils and adenoids through the mouth.
Recovery begins in the recovery room where the patient is closely monitored. Once he or she is doing well, they will be released to fully recover at home. Most physicians will prescribe pain medication, increased fluid intake and no rough activities for a specified length of time.
Swallowing is so simple to a majority of people. However, an estimated 15 million people in the United States suffer from Dysphagia, or trouble swallowing.
What are the kinds of Dysphagia?
There are two kinds of Dysphagia:
Esophageal Dysphagia – Esophageal dysphagia is caused by the esophagus, the tube that connects the throat to the stomach, being damaged. Common symptoms of esophageal dysphagia include:
- Weight loss
- Lack of interest in food
- Pain in the chest after swallowing
- Excessive coughing in the middle of the night
- Nausea after swallowing
Oropharyngeal Dysphagia – Oropharyngeal dysphagia is caused by an abnormality affecting the throat or mouth. Symptoms of oropharyngeal dysphagia include:
- Taking a long time to chew food
- Getting food stuck in the throat often
- Weight loss
- Lack of interest in food
- Difficulty breathing while eating
- Frequent coughing while eating
Treatment Options for Dysphagia
Treatment options for dysphagia depend greatly on the type of dysphagia you are suffering from and what is causing the dysphagia. Common treatment options for dysphagia include:
Exercises for swallowing muscles. These often include retraining muscles to work together to help you swallow.
Changing your diet. Your doctor may give you specific foods you are able to eat that make swallowing easier.
Medicines. If your dysphagia is related to GERD or heartburn, your doctor may prescribe medication to help prevent stomach acid from entering the esophagus.
If you believe you may have dysphagia, request an appointment at Coastal Ear, Nose & Throat in Savannah by calling (912) 355-2335.
Hoarseness is typically a symptom of an underlying issue. There are many things that can be done to correct hoarseness, however sometimes surgery is necessary if there are nodules or polyps on the vocal folds.
Vocal nodules are growths that form on the vocal folds. These growths usually make it difficult to speak, as the natural movement of your vocal folds is disrupted by these nodules.
What Causes Vocal Nodules?
Typically, vocal nodules are caused by overuse of the voice. Vocal nodules are especially common in singers, as they regularly strain their vocal cords during performances.
Other professions or activities related to heavy voice usage can also cause vocal nodules to form. In addition to singers, coaches and cheerleaders will often develop vocal nodules due to how often they use their voice above a normal speaking range.
Whenever a person yells or screams, their vocal folds are violently slapped together again and again. This is incredibly harmful to your vocal folds, and it is what causes the tissue to swell and then eventually harden into a vocal nodule.
There are also a few other potential contributors to the formation of vocal nodules that do not involve any use of the voice at all. These contributors include:
- Drinking caffeine or alcohol
- A disorder of the thyroid
Vocal Nodule Symptoms
A person will begin to notice abnormalities of their voice as vocal nodules begin to form, such as:
- A rough or scratchy voice
- Feeling that there is something stuck in the throat
- Difficulty in controlling the pitch of your voice
- Shooting pain from one ear to another
- Neck pain
- Fatigue of the voice and body
Vocal Nodule Treatment
If the individual rests their voice properly at the onset of their swollen vocal folds, the area is usually able to heal on its own. If the person does not adequately rest their voice, then vocal nodules will likely develop. It is advised to see a doctor if your vocal nodule symptoms last for more than 2-3 weeks.
Over time, these nodules begin to harden, just like a callous. Once they have hardened, the vocal nodules will most often need to be removed during a surgical procedure.
In the event that the nodules are caused by smoking, drinking, allergies, reflux, or a thyroid disorder, then the individual will be advised to treat those existing conditions first in order to improve the health of their vocal folds. After all, it will do little good to treat the symptom instead of treating the true cause of the patient’s vocal nodules.
Our ENT Specialists are experts in the surgical removal of throat cancers. If further treatment is required we will connect you with the necessary specialists to further your treatment.