HOARSENESS EVALUATION

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Change in voice quality is known as hoarseness. Symptoms like sound raspy, breathy, strained, or show change in volume or pitch if an individual is suffering from hoarse voice. It is both a symptom and sign of dysfunction of the phonatory apparatus (i.e., the larynx) that often impairs the patient's ability to communicate and reduces voice-related QOL (quality of life).

Causes of hoarseness are diverse. Acute laryngitis and functional dysphonia are the most general causes of hoarseness. The only entity causing hoarseness that can be treated pharmacologically is chronic laryngitis associated with gastro-oesophageal reflux, which responds to treatment of the reflux disorder. The empirical treatment of hoarseness with antibiotics or corticosteroids is not recommended.

Finally, Hoarseness is a common presenting complaint and can be a symptom of the benign or malignant disease. It is essential to find out the difference between those requiring urgent referral to an otorhinolaryngologist and who can be managed safely by the doctor. Vocal hygiene and speech therapy is most appropriate treatment tools for many conditions. The patients with red flag features or persistent hoarseness should be consulted to an otorhinolaryngologist.

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