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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Hoarseness, change in voice

02/22/2007

Question:

Hi, I am a physically fit, 42 y/o female, don`t drink or smoke. I have been experiencing hoarseness,(kinda coarse or raspy sound, not smoothe, and pitch actually sounds a little lower,) for approximately 9-11 weeks. Nothing major, just more annoying than anything. I do not have sore throat or sinus drainage. I`ve also noticed my uvula deviates to the right.......Not sure if I should see ENT or just general practioner, or if it even warrants seeing anyone at all?......I had read persistant hoarseness should be checked out, but I`m not sick.....so I`d really rather not go if it`s not absolutely necessary. Any advice?

Answer:

While the odds are that there is probably nothing bad going on, I can't tell you that through an E-mail.  You may have acid reflux or you could have a tumor in your throat. I can't be sure.

Remember, most tumors and cancers don't cause any pain in the early stages.  If you have ever heard a women with breast cancer talk about how she discovered it, she will usually say that she found a lump, not a painful lump.

I recommend that you see an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist if you want the issue thoroughly addressed.  An ENT doctor can evaluate your vocal cords properly and hopefully resolve the hoarseness problem.

For more information:

Go to the Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Keith M Wilson, MD Keith M Wilson, MD
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Head and Neck Division
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati