Minor throat irritations like a sore throat or strep throat are usually temporary and not much to worry about if they go away with over-the-counter treatments or rest.
It’s when throat problems are becoming a regular distraction that it’s time to see what a throat disorder specialist in Los Angeles has to say. Below are four of the steps a doctor specializing in throat disorders can take to help you feel better or improve your quality of life.
1. Finding Out What’s Causing Your Symptoms
The first step a throat disorder specialist in Los Angeles usually takes is to perform a physical examination of your throat. If you are having difficulty swallowing or you have a suspected infection, a lighted tool may be used to manually inspect your throat. You may also be asked about the nature of your symptoms and whether or not you’ve experienced them before. Underlying health conditions like acid reflux and diabetes may also be discussed to determine if there’s a connection.
2. Performing Specialized Tests
It’s sometimes necessary for a throat disorder specialist in Los Angeles to perform specialized tests to make a positive diagnosis. If the problem is believed to be within your voice box, for example, a laryngoscopy may be performed to look at your voice box (larynx), vocal cords, and other structures in the back of throat with a lighted scope attached to a lens. A tissue sample may also be collected and tested if an unusual growth is discovered. In order to diagnose an infection, a throat culture is often done to identify a virus, a particular strain of bacteria, or a fungus.
3. Recommending a Treatment Plan
Treatment will depend on the results from tests and the nature of your throat disorder. If the thyroid gland in the front of your throat is the problem, for instance, medication is a common treatment recommendation. With thyroid nodules or other growths within the throat area that are benign, routine monitoring by a throat disorder specialist in Los Angeles may be all that’s necessary. With throat infections, antibiotics are usually effective. If you have throat cancer, treatment typically involves radiation and/or chemotherapy.
4. Performing Condition-Specific Procedures
An L.A. throat disorder specialist sometimes need to perform specialized procedures specific to your condition to restore vocal quality or the ability to swallow or breathe without difficulty. If you experienced throat trauma due to injury, reconstructive surgery may be necessary if the damage is severe. This type of surgery may also be needed if a tumor that’s cancerous or causing other problems has to be removed. You may also benefit from specialized procedures if you have a thyroid disorder that’s not responding to medication or structural abnormalities within your throat that were present at birth.
With the help of a throat disorder specialist in Los Angeles, you may also be able to reduce your odds of developing a similar condition once you’ve been successfully treated. In general, you’ll be more likely to keep your throat healthy by avoiding vocal straining, being careful with excessively spicy or hot foods, and getting an examination if you experience any unusual throat discomfort that’s not going away.