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

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. L
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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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