Medical Voice Disorders

Thomas L. Carroll, MD
Nausheen Jamal, MD

“Medical voice disorders” will encompass primary laryngeal pathologies that affect voicing, breathing, and swallowing, as well as laryngeal dysfunction that results from other otolaryngologic and non-otolaryngologic surgeries, medications, pregnancy, hormonal changes, and other systemic conditions and diseases. This section is sub-grouped into sections that roughly follow these divisions.

It is common as a voice care professional to be the first to identify the manifestations of a systemic disease, such as sarcoidosis or amyloidosis, as they affect the larynx. These disease processes are not always known to the patient, and further workup may be required. Thus, the otolaryngologist must be aware of possible systemic problems that could affect laryngeal function (voice, airway protection, and swallowing) and manifest in an outpatient setting. Additionally, these systemic conditions or distant problems may not directly affect the larynx, but medications used to treat more remote problems can lead to laryngeal dysfunction. Laryngeal candidiasis from the use of steroid inhalers for pulmonary diseases is a classic example.

The articles from the Journal of Voice that fall under the category of “Medical voice Disorders” are diverse and potentially overlap with other sections in this collection due to how they are diagnosed and managed. Neurologic voice disorders and laryngopharyngeal reflux related articles have their own sections elsewhere; but some topics related to mental health, alternative treatments, paradoxical vocal fold motion, chronic cough, and subtle causes of glottic insufficiency (paresis, atrophy etc.) are included here if they relate directly to something that a voice team would encounter and treat in the outpatient world of voice care.