Types of Treatment
At the Lions Voice Clinic
In the Lions Voice Clinic, we tailor the exercises specifically to your strengths, weaknesses, and needs. We record the exercises during the session so you can practice at home with recording. This ensures optimal practice.
Treatment using medicines can be one of the components of treatment for voice disorders. In some cases the laryngologist will prescribe a medication to make the larynx more healthy. We may also suggest over-the-counter medications for certain vocal conditions.
There are few drugs specifically used to treat voice disorders. More commonly, the medications fall into several classes that have a secondary effect on the voice:
1. Medications to treat sinus drainage
Saline sinus rinses, decongestants, antihistamines, or steroid nasal sprays may be prescribed if the individual is bothered by congestion or sinus drainage that may irritate the tissues in the larynx, or thicken secretions, making it hard for the vocal folds to vibrate
2. Medications to treat acid reflux
Reflux is a common disorder that can cause stomach contents to reflux up the esophagus (the food pipe) and then spill over onto the larynx. The stomach juices are irritating to the larynx and may cause swelling or inflammation of the vocal folds. Medications such as Zantac or Prilosec may be prescribed to treat this condition, in order to improve the health of the larynx (see Related Disorders) along with anti-reflux precautions to minimize stomach contents regurgitation.
3. Medications to reduce inflammation of the vocal folds
On some occasions, vocal fold swelling warrants a prescription of oral steroids to reduce the inflammation. These are not used on a long-term basis due to side effects. See You and Your Voice.
4. Medications to treat fungal infections
Sometimes the voice problem is caused by a fungal infection, sometimes called thrush. Prescription medications can be helpful in these cases.
5. Over-the-counter medications
Conservative remedies are important at the Lions Voice Clinic. Maintaining good hydration of the mucosal tissues is extremely important to vocal health. We often recommend such strategies as saline nasal irrigation, personal steamers, salt water gargles and sucking on hard candies. Also, over-the-counter medications such as saline nasal sprays or guaifenesin (which thins secretions; the well-known brand name is Mucinex) are helpful in keeping drainage minimal and secretions thinned.
At the Lions Voice Clinic
At the Lions Voice Clinic, surgery is almost always accompanied by at least one session of functional voice therapy, to teach the individual about postoperative voice care, and to teach vocal techniques to optimize the surgical result. Some surgical treatments are described on the Voice Disorders page.