Top 10 Lessons | 62 Lessons on Recovering Your Voice

Top 10 Lessons for the Long-Suffering Patient

  1. My Deep Sympathy. This is harder than people think.
  2. Don’t Give Up. The large majority of voice problems – even 5, 10, 20 years standing – can be improved or resolved.
  3. Settle in for a Long Effort. Finding the right doctor, reaching the right diagnosis can take months. It’s worth the effort.
  4. The Key Is Diagnosis. A series of treatments without a certain diagnosis is a problem. The specific diagnosis should ideally come first.
  5. Laryngitis Needs a Qualifier to Be a Complete Diagnosis. In layman’s terms, “chronic laryngitis” is an incomplete diagnosis – the cause needs to be found. A hoarse voice caused by a cold or flu does not continue for months, let alone indefinitely. Keep looking.
  6. Hard Cases Require Voice Specialists. There are a few dozen otolaryngologists in the United States whose principal specialty is the voice. They are worth finding.
  7. Expect Multiple Doctors. Simply as a practical matter, the hardest cases typically require several or even many visits to doctors before finding the right specialist. There are short cuts; it’s just that none of us finds them.
  8. Expect Travel. Unlike cardiologists or oncologists, voice specialists are not well distributed across the country. Some of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas have no physicians principally dedicated to voice problems.
  9. Watch Out for Multiple Causes. Increasingly voice specialists believe that chronic voice problems are “multifactorial” – that is to say the result of several simultaneous problems. Each problem needs its own treatment. Acid reflux and nerve paresis (partial paralysis) are often the overlooked additional problems.
  10. Almost Everyone Can Get Better. Good luck.

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