Commonly asked

Throat FAQs

What causes laryngitis?

Swelling of the vocal cords prevents them from coming together properly, which causes a change in the voice.

What can you do to prevent and treat mild hoarseness?

  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Avoid substances that dehydrate the body, such as alcohol and caffeine. Avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Humidify your home.
  • Watch your diet - avoid spicy foods.
  • Try not to use your voice too long or too loudly.
  • Seek professional voice training.
  • Avoid speaking or singing when your voice is injured or hoarse.

Are there specific risk factors for head and neck cancer?

  • Ninety percent of head and neck cancers arise after prolonged exposure to specific factors:
  • For cancers of the mouth and throat, including the larynx (voice box), these include tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and snuff) and alcohol.
  • For cancers of the skin, prolonged exposure to sunlight is a major factor.

What are the symptoms of tonsillitis?

  • Swelling of the tonsils
  • Redder than normal tonsils
  • A white or yellow coating on the tonsils
  • A slight voice change due to swelling
  • Sore throat
  • Uncomfortable or painful swallowing
  • Swollen lymph nodes (glands) in the neck
  • Fever
  • Bad breath

What are the symptoms of enlarged adenoids?

  • Breathing through the mouth instead of the nose most of the time
  • Nose sounds "blocked" when the person speaks
  • Noisy breathing during the day
  • Recurrent ear infections
  • Snoring at night
  • Breathing stops for a few seconds at night during snoring or loud breathing (sleep apnea)

When is the removal of tonsils and/or adenoids recommended?

The two primary reasons for removal of tonsils and/or adenoids are recurrent infection despite antibiotic therapy and difficulty breathing due to enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids. Removal of adenoids is also a beneficial treatment for some children with fluid in the middle ear.

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