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National guideline released for the treatment of hoarseness
Date:9/1/2009

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
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Contact: Jessica Mikulski
newsroom@entnet.org
703-535-3762
American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery
Source:Eurekalert

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