Hoarseness lasting more than two weeks should be evaluated. We offer in-office video laryngoscopy so you can see your own examination and results.
Some common causes of hoarseness include:
- Acute and chronic laryngitis
- Vocal cord polyps
- Throat cancer
- Vocal Cord Paralysis
- Voice Abuse
- Aging process
At high risk for possible laryngeal cancer include those who smoke and have chronic hoarseness and/or associated throat pain. In this patient group, early diagnosis is associated with the best outcomes.
Foreign Body Sensation in the Throat
One of the most common throat complaints Dr. Ludwick evaluates is a sensation that something is stuck in the patient’s throat. A thorough head and neck evaluation including laryngoscopy is indicated to determine the cause. Often this is secondary to undiagnosed reflux disease, nasal allergy, or occasionally a mass or tumor is the culprit. West Houston ENT and Sleep Center offers in-office video laryngoscopy so you can view your own examination and results.
Tonsillitis and Peri-tonsillar Abscess
Dr. Ludwick manages complicated tonsil infections and infections leading to abscess formation. Known as a peri-tonsillar abscess, it requires surgical drainage. Typically, this can be done in the office. Delayed treatment of a peri-tonsillar abscess can lead to serious, life-threatening upper airway compromise and hospitalization.
The vast majority of tonsil infections can be effectively managed by your primary care physician. However, if your symptoms are not improving within 36-48 hours after initiating therapy, you should make an appointment with Dr. Ludwick for an evaluation.
If you have enlarged cervical lymph nodes that persist for more than a few weeks, you should be evaluated for diagnosis and treatment. Known to most as “glands”, enlarged lymph nodes can be caused by infection or cancer. Causes of enlarged lymph nodes include:
- Reactive enlargement due to local bacterial or viral infections
- System viral infections such as HIV or Infectious Mononucleosis
- Direct bacterial infection called Lymphadenitis
In addition, lymph nodes themselves can become involved in a cancerous process such as:
- Metastatic cancer
Salivary Gland Problems
Pain or swelling that occurs right in front or just below your ear or below the jaw bone can be caused by your salivary glands. We have three major paired salivary glands including the parotid, submandibular, and sublingual glands. Tumors, infection, and salivary gland duct stones can cause enlargement of these glands. As a board-certified ENT physician, Dr. Ludwick can evaluate and resolve salivary gland problems.
Does it feel like food or pills are getting stuck in your throat on the way down? The medical term is dysphagia. The problem likely stems from an issue with upper esophagus. Dr. Ludwick can evaluate and treat all of the causes of dysphagia relating to the upper esophagus such as:
- Enlarged thyroid gland
- Diverticulum of the Esophagus
- Cricopharyngeal muscle spasm
- Cervical spine osteophytes