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Plant City Observer Thursday, Mar. 8, 2018 6 months ago

Doctor’s Note: Identifying voice and swallowing disorders

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Don’t wait too long to seek treatment for some of your body’s most important functions.
by: Columnist Columnist

Your voice and your ability to swallow are all things you may take for granted, until you have a problem with one of them.

Because your voice is the best tool for communication, it is important to do everything you can to keep it healthy. While singers, actors and public speakers might be first in line seeking care for their voices, we all depend on our voices either for our profession or for our daily interactions with others.

Swallowing disorders, often referred to as dysphagia, can affect people of any age. Normal swallowing involves the movement of food or liquid from the mouth to the stomach while protecting the airway.

Ear, Nose and Throat physicians who specialize in disorders of the throat and larynx (“voice box”) are called Laryngologists. So how do you know when you should visit a Laryngologist? When voice and swallowing problems start to interfere with daily functioning and persist more than two weeks, it is time to seek treatment.

“We are very fortunate to be able to offer efficient and comprehensive evaluation for patients with these kinds of concerns here at our facility,” Daniel Vincent, M.D., Laryngologist and Director of the Florida Center for Voice and Swallowing, said. “Depending on the cause of the voice or swallowing disorder, a variety of treatment options exist to help our patients get on the road to better quality of life. Individuals are different, so therapy is customized to each patient’s needs.”

There are many methods for treating disorders of the throat and larynx, depending on the diagnosis. Noninvasive options may include voice or swallowing therapy with our speech pathologists, or medical treatment for common conditions like reflux or allergy. In some cases, surgery may be necessary, and it is most often through brief outpatient procedures.

The Florida Center for Voice and Swallowing specializes in the diagnosis and management of voice and swallowing disorders, offering the latest technology and a coordinated team approach to patients. It is a dedicated center of excellence at Florida E.N.T. & Allergy, the region’s premier single-specialty ear, nose and throat practice. With board certified ENT physicians in 11 convenient locations, our experienced team specializes in all aspects of ear, nose and throat care to address your concerns.

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