Losing your ability to eat, drink, talk, or breathe properly can cause pain and discomfort. If you use your voice professionally, as a singer or speaker, your career could be at risk. But all of us need to communicate. Swallowing, airway, and voice disorders can cause everything from frustration to social isolation and depression.
At UVA Health, we know the impact these issues can have on your life. We offer specialized care and vocal cord treatment you can't find everywhere. Our concentrated attention and expert services can quickly help you get back to normal.
You may need a voice specialist if you have:
- Hoarseness that lasts 3 weeks
- Difficulty singing
- Difficulty speaking over background noise
- Chronic throat clearing
- Chronic coughing
- Persistent feeling of a lump in the throat (globus sensation)
- Liquid regularly going into your windpipe
- Food sticking in the throat
- Shortness of breath caused by throat tightness
Choose Effective, Convenient Care at UVA
Only a handful of providers in Virginia offer specialized treatments for vocal cord and swallowing disorders. At UVA, our highly specialized doctors and voice therapists can provide the latest care options.
Working closely with our speech therapy team during your initial visit, we aim to make the right diagnosis as soon as possible and can plan and provide the best treatment for your condition, including same-day procedures performed right in the clinic.
Conditions We Treat
- Cricopharyngeal hypertrophy (CP bar)
- Swallowing trouble (dysphagia)
- Voice and swallowing problems due to neurological disease (stroke, Parkinson's disease, paralysis)
- Zenkers diverticulum
Airway & Breathing
- Autoimmune conditions causing airway scarring
- Bilateral vocal cord paralysis
- Idiopathic subglottic stenosis
- Intubation injury
- Posterior glottic stenosis
- Tracheal stenosis
- Tracheostomy complications
- Acute and chronic laryngitis, reflux laryngitis, allergic laryngitis
- Laryngeal and tracheal stenosis (scar tissue airway narrowing)
- Muscular tension dysphonia
- Professional singer and speaker–specific ear, nose, and throat problems
- Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis
- Spasmodic dysphonia
- Vocal cord polyps, nodules, and cysts
- Vocal cord paralysis
- Vocal cord spasms
- Voice box (larynx) cancer and precancerous growths
- Transgender voice modification (vocal feminization surgery and voice therapy)
- Laryngeal chondroplasty (tracheal shave)
Problems with your voice box can affect how you speak, breathe, or swallow. Hoarseness can range from a very small voice change to complete loss of your voice.
Damage to your voice box can happen from many different causes. Cancer, ventilator tube trauma, autoimmune conditions, and other conditions can hurt your vocal cords and throat. We offer advanced and traditional treatments to preserve and restore your voice box. These include:
- Laser surgery
- Advanced airway reconstructive techniques
- Cutting-edge nerve reinnervation
Starting Your Journey Back to Normal
You'll meet our team of experts during your very first visit. Together, we'll diagnose your condition and plan a complete care approach. This kind of focused attention lets us limit the number of visits you'll need. We can map out your rehab potential and get treatment started as soon as possible.
The team includes:
- Medical doctors (MDs)
- Speech-language pathologists (SLPs)
- Physician assistants (PAs)
Learn more about what's involved in getting a diagnosis.