Voice and swallowing disorders

Dysphonia and dysphagia (voice and swallowing disorders) are symptoms of inflammatory, neurological, benign, or malignant diseases in the pharynx or larynx. Dr Blaschek specialises in these types of disorders and offers affected patients a wide range of pre-and aftercare examinations as well as diagnosis and therapy methods.

  • Voice disorders (hoarseness, dysphonia)


    Voice disorders usually present as impairment of the loudness of the voice and the voice quickly tiring. In addition to hoarseness, patients often also describe feelings of pressure or foreign objects in the larynx area. Voice disorders can be related to organic changes (e.g. polyps, cysts, benign tumours, paralysis) or have a functional cause, which presents in restricted functioning of the voice tools. Among other, video stroboscopies, answering a questionnaire (Voice Handicap Index), a vocal range profile and a sound spectrogram (sonagram) are performed for the clarification of the causes. HNO medic treats these patients in cooperation with the speech therapist Mrs Hotzenköcherle. Depending on the cause of the complaints, both surgical (phonosurgery) and speech therapy measures are taken.

  • Dysphagia (chewing and swallowing disorders)


    Swallowing disorders can present during the actual act of swallowing (swallowing the wrong way with coughing and gagging reflex) or actually prevent solid or liquid food from passing into or through the oesophagus. This means the causes can be either in the oral cavity, pharynx or larynx area or in the oesophagus. Often neurological diseases (e.g. stroke) or tumours are responsible for these disorders. Even in light cases, swallowing disorders require medical clarification, in order to e.g. minimise the risk of pneumonia caused by breathing in foreign bodies (aspiration pneumonia). Treatment depends on the relevant disorder and can e.g. consist of a swallowing therapy together with a speech therapist.

  • Benign changes of the vocal folds


    Benign changes to the vocal folds include laryngeal papilloma, cysts, polyps, vocal fold nodules and the Reinke oedema (accumulation of fluid). Most of these findings severely influence the voice quality or cause a more or less pronounced hoarseness, or a feeling of a foreign object in the throat. A diagnosis can usually be made by means of a stroboscopy. Organic changes are treated in phonosurgery under full anaesthesia. In some cases, a speech voice therapy might help.

  • Tumours


    If the larynx is affected by a malignant tumour, the tumour must be either removed surgically or treated with radiation. The therapy depends on the size, location and extent of the tumour. In addition to a complete cure, the aim of the treatment is to preserve, to the best possible extent, the laryngeal functions such as voice formation, closure of the trachea during swallowing and the protection of the respiratory tract.

  • Vocal fold paralysis


    Vocal fold paralysis presents as pronounced hoarseness, but can also be associated with swallowing difficulties (frequently swallowing the wrong way). Depending on the medical history, additional diagnostic measures such as imaging or chemical laboratory tests are necessary. The first choice here is voice therapy. Depending on the cause of the paralysis, surgical procedures can also help, e.g. injecting various fillers into the paralysed vocal fold. This procedure can be performed in the practice under local anaesthesia.

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