Navigation Links
National guideline released for the treatment of hoarseness

Alexandria, Va. - The American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) will issue the first--and only--national clinical practice guideline to help healthcare practitioners identify and manage patients with hoarseness, also known as dysphonia. The guideline emphasizes evidence-based management of hoarseness by clinicians, and educates patients on the prevalence of this common vocal health issue.

"Hoarseness affects approximately 20 million people in the U.S. at any given time, and about one in three individuals will become hoarse at some point in their life," said Richard M. Rosenfeld, MD, MPH, an author of the guideline and chair of the AAO-HNSF Guideline Development Task Force. "In addition to the impact on health and quality of life, hoarseness leads to frequent healthcare visits and several billion dollars in lost productivity annually from work absenteeism."

The terms hoarseness and dysphonia are often used interchangeably, however, hoarseness is a symptom of altered voice quality and dysphonia is a diagnosis. Hoarseness (dysphonia) is defined as a disorder characterized by altered vocal quality, pitch, loudness, or vocal effort that impairs communication or reduces voice-related quality of life. Hoarseness may affect newborns, infants, children, and adults of any age. Individuals with hoarseness have impaired communication with their family and peers, which may result in depression, social isolation, missed work, lost wages, or reduced quality of life.

"Most hoarseness is caused by benign or self-limiting conditions, but it may also be the presenting symptom of a more serious or progressive condition requiring prompt diagnosis and management," said Seth R. Schwartz, MD, MPH, chair of the Hoarseness Guideline Panel. "This new guideline is intended to enhance diagnosis, promote appropriate therapy, improve outcomes, and to expand counseling and education for prevention."

Hoarseness is more common in women (50% higher than men), children (peak range 8-14 years), the elderly, and professional voice users (e.g., teachers, performers, telemarketers, aerobics instructors). In spite of how common the condition is, a recent survey by the AAO-HNS revealed that many Americans are unfamiliar with the possible causes and appropriate treatment for hoarseness. The survey revealed that almost half of adults are not aware that persistent hoarseness may be a symptom of cancer. Separate research cited in the guideline also found that only 5.9 percent of those with hoarseness seek treatment.

Recognizing that patients who do seek care may see many different types of healthcare providers, the guidelines are intended for all clinicians who are likely to diagnose and manage patients with hoarseness.

Key features of the new guideline include:

  • Most, but not all, hoarseness is the result of benign underlying or self-limiting factors; however, clinicians should consider the possibility of a serious underlying condition (growth or tumor of the larynx) or medication side effects as a cause.
  • Laryngoscopy is an office procedure to visualize the larynx (voice box and vocal cords) that should be performed if hoarseness persists or if the cause is uncertain.
  • Imaging studies, such as a CT or MRI scans, should not be obtained for a primary complaint of hoarseness prior to visualizing the larynx; laryngoscopy is the primary diagnostic modality and should be done first.
  • Anti-reflux medicines should not be prescribed for hoarseness unless there are (a) signs or symptoms of gastroesophageal reflex disease (GERD), such as heartburn or regurgitation, or (b) signs of inflammation of the larynx seen during laryngoscopy.
  • Steroids or antibiotics given by mouth are not recommended for hoarseness and should not be used routinely.
  • Voice therapy is a well-established intervention for hoarseness that can be performed at any age. Laryngoscopy should be performed prior to voice therapy and results communicated to the speech-language pathologist. Therapy for hoarseness usually includes one to two sessions per week for four to eight weeks.
  • Surgery is not the primary treatment for most hoarseness, but may be indicated for suspected cancer, other tumors or growths, abnormal movement of the vocal cords, or abnormal tone of the vocal cord muscles.
  • The risk of hoarseness may be reduced by preventive measures such as staying well-hydrated, avoiding irritants (especially tobacco smoke), voice training, and amplification during heavy voice use.

"In an era of health reform and comparative effectiveness research, well-crafted guidelines help improve quality, promote optimal outcomes, minimize harm, and reduce inappropriate variations in care," says Dr. Rosenfeld. "It is hoped that these guidelines will give clinicians the tools they need to spot an issue early, avoid poor outcomes, and reduce healthcare costs."

The guideline was created by a multidisciplinary panel representing neurology, speech-language pathology, professional voice teaching, family medicine, pulmonology, geriatric medicine, nursing, internal medicine, otolaryngology head and neck surgery, pediatric medicine, and consumers.


Contact: Jessica Mikulski
American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery

Related medicine news :

1. International study strengthens case for daily calcium pill
2. Yakima Health Care Leader Tapped for Leadership Post at National Association
3. Virginia Tech Report Has National Importance
4. Donate Life America Dispels Myths About Organ & Tissue Donation Among Hispanics During National Hispanic Heritage Month
5. Us TOO Launches National SEA Blue Campaign for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
6. Mettler-Toledo International Inc. Announces Webcast of Presentation at Thomas Weisel Partners 2007 Healthcare Conference
7. National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP), the Largest Insurance Subrogation Association in the World - Announced Today that Leslie Wiernik has Joined the Organization as Director of Education
8. 4-Star Gen. Barry McCaffrey, Former U.S. Drug Czar, to Address National Drug Crisis, Keynote Grand Opening of New Allenwood, PA National Model Detox Center
9. Australian-led international study shows blood pressure drugs cut death rate in type 2 diabetes
10. LCA Hails International Investigators Studying Lung Cancer
11. National Patient Safety Foundation Partners with Vocera Communications
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... The ... perfect dish and pleasing the palates of attendees is of the utmost importance. ... to a seasonal get-together, give these recipes a try this holiday season. , ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nairobi (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... African Union Commission (AUC), European Union (EU), ANDI Pan African Centres of Excellence, ... Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON) for the opening of the 5th African Network ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dental professionals who would like ... , are invited to attend Dr. Mark Iacobelli’s Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM) CE course. ... OH. , As the co-founders of Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM), Dr. Iacobelli and ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Smiles ... of TMJ Disorder, Bruxism, and moderate facial wrinkling. While many patients are aware of ... of the great success Botox® delivers to those suffering with discomfort, soreness, and pain ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... “While riding the bus, I saw a passenger in a wheelchair ... to be a convenient and comfortable way to protect them from bad weather, so ... safely travel during cold or inclement weather. In doing so, it ensures that the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  Linden Care, LLC, a ... treatment outcomes for patients suffering from chronic pain, said ... a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) enjoining Express Scripts from ... companies. --> --> ... of its legal options. --> ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... AVIV, Israel , November 25, 2015 ... (NASDAQ: KTOV ) (TASE: KTOV), a biopharmaceutical company ... simultaneous treatment of various clinical conditions, today announced the ... 3,158,900 American Depository Shares ( ADSs ), each representing ... purchase up to 3,158,900 ADSs. The ADSs and warrants ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ... De Silva , President and CEO, will discuss corporate updates ... in New York on Wednesday, December ... . Click on Investor Relations, and then the link to ... the presentation,s start time to visit the site and download ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: