ENT Center of Austin - Doctor's Blog

Do You Have a Voice Problem?

We already know that dolphins and porpoises communicate to one another. Some striking new research even suggests that plants can correspond with other root-based forms of life. Kinda puts a damper on the vegetarians out there.


This comes from a recent issue of National Geographic:

Plants might be able to eavesdrop on their neighbors and use the sounds they "hear" to guide their own growth, according to a new study that suggests plants use acoustic signaling to communicate with one another.

"We have shown that plants can recognize when a good neighbor is growing next to them," said study co-author Monica Gagliano, an evolutionary ecologist at the University of Western Australia.

"We are proposing that this communication may be based upon an acoustic exchange."

The findings, published this week in the journal BMC Ecology, suggest that plants can not only "smell" the chemicals and "see" the reflected light of their neighbors, they may also "listen" to the plants around them.

"Plants are more complex organisms than we've given them credit for," Gagliano said.

Plants and mammals aside, us humans have this valuable resource. But some people have bona fide voice problems.

Do I Have A Voice Problem?

You may experience this after cheering on your favorite team or belting-out one too many songs at the local Karaoke bar. When you speak after over-exercising that larynx, you're hoarse, raspy or a weird sound comes from your mouth when you speak.

The ENT Center of Austin sees people who complain about changes in pitch, unable to speak after a few moments of talking, a sharp or dull pain or a total loss of voice. Try performing a tune in your upper singing range. Can't do what you did the night before at the sing-a-long lounge? There's a problem. The more serious matters we see in patients are when they spit-up blood or when blood shows up in their mucus. When that happens, see us as soon as possible.

Whatcha Need To Look Out For

ENT Center of Austin has compiled some bullet-points that will tell you if you have a voice predicament.

  • Are you constantly having to clear your throat?
  • When you return to the Karaoke bar are you unable to hit the high notes like before?
  • When you do speak, it sounds really raspy or you become hoarse sounding.
  • Is everyone around you asking if you have a cold even though you don't?
  • How's that throat behaving? Is it achy or feeling raw?
  • Are you finding it more-and-more hard to carry on a conversation without backing out of the discussion?

Causes Beyond Screaming Too Much

A change in your voice may reveal itself after an upper respiratory infection lasting up to two weeks. What happens is your vocal cords swell-up. Best thing to do is rest your throat. Things will probably get better with some simple TLC.


Let's say there's no improvement after a couple of weeks. Make an appointment with the ENT Center of Austin. For those patients who experience this for more than a month, a darker thing might be happening. Like cancer, especially for smokers. This is the first and most important symptom of throat cancer. By figuring it out early in the game, it increases the effectiveness of treatment.

You're friends are waiting for you to hammer out some of those things called music on open mike night. Fix it and sing on.

Original Source: http://austinentmd.com

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