What patients and families need to know
Ear, Nose and Throat (Otolaryngology)
Children's National's divisions of Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose, and Throat) and Hearing and Speech coordinate a monthly Voice Program for evaluation and management of pediatric voice disorders, whether it's a raspy voice that needs a little rest, or a more complex condition that requires advanced care from our specialists.
How the Voice Program Helps
Pediatric otolaryngologists and speech pathologists staff the Voice Program and treat a wide variety of functional and structural voice conditions. The strength of the program is the close coordination between ENT and speech pathology, which allows children to receive a full evaluation and treatment recommendation during one office visit.
Once we diagnose and identify the reason for your child's voice problem, we can develop a treatment plan that addresses the cause as well as long-term management of the condition. We also monitor a child's progress at 6-month intervals.
During your child's clinic visit, we perform a full otolaryngologic examination including videolaryngoscopy with stroboscopy and complete voice evaluation — we see, hear, and record what happens to the vocal cords when your child makes a sound.
Conditions commonly treated in the Voice Program include:
- Chronic cough
- Suspected laryngopharyngeal reflux (gastroesophageal reflux disease involving the upper and/or lower airway)
- Suspected paradoxical vocal cord motion or vocal cord paralysis
- Voice and resonance disorders, such as vocal nodules, cysts and velopharyngeal insufficiency
Hoarseness (dysphonia) and vocal nodules are the most common problems we see in the clinic. Nodules, similar to a callus, can cause severe hoarseness and even complete loss of voice. Voice therapy to treat the problem and the cause, involves conducting a vocal quality assessment, learning behaviors to avoid straining the voice (vocal abuse), and other habits to preserve your child's lovely voice.
If you would like more information about the Voice Program, please call 202-476-2159.
Watch as Pamela Mudd, M.D., performs Children’s first recurrent laryngeal nerve reinnervation to improve Madison’s vocal strength.