Roadmap to the Pathway | Pathway to the Symptom Tree | View the Symptom Tree

Path I: Defining the Branches of the Symptom Tree
Symptoms Caused by Problems in the Larynx Can Be Organized Into Categories 

To make sense of many symptoms, a useful framework classifies symptoms according to categories that facilitate identification of cause or diagnosis of the problem in the larynx.

As with branches of a tree, there are several levels of categories going from “main branches to smaller branches” – from main categories to more specific categories.

Path II: Defining the Symptom Cluster

  • Symptoms Can Be “Clustered” into the Different Categories
  • Symptom clusters can have overlapping symptoms.
  • Symptom clusters list most possible symptoms.

Patients with identical voice disorders can present with varying combinations of symptoms from the disorder’s typical symptom cluster – a symptom cluster represents some or all of a patient’s complaints at any one time.

Path III: Defining the Causes of Symptom Clusters
Each Symptom Cluster Can Have Multiple Causes

Depending on severity, a particular cause of voice disorder may present with different symptom clusters – a cause may be listed in more than one symptom cluster.

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Voice disorders with multiple causes often occur – hence it is not uncommon that patients recognize that their voice problem spans multiple symptom clusters and causes.

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Multifactorial voice disorders are best discussed with a Voice Care professional.

Path IV: Defining “Associated Clues” of Symptom Cluster Causes
Each Category of Cause Usually Manifests With Typical Features

  • Associated clues are typical-case examples, neither all inclusive or exclusive.
  • Associated clues can have some overlaps with different voice disorders.
  • Associated clues do not simply add up in multifactorial voice disorders (resulting from a combination of causes). Often, the resulting multifactorial voice disorder becomes more complex making them harder to diagnose and treat.
  • Although associated clues represent typical case scenarios, each person’s voice disorder is unique and patient-specific needs must be addressed.

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Patient education material presented here does not substitute for medical consultation or examination, nor is this material intended to provide advice on the medical treatment appropriate to any specific circumstances.

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