Pediatric voice disorders

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Duke voice care experts specialize in treating children with voice disorders they are born with, that result from vocal misuse or overuse, or are acquired due to a serious medical condition. We have the skill and expertise to work with your child and your family to diagnose vocal disorders, develop a customized treatment plan that includes learning healthy ways to use your voice. We restore your child's voice to the best it can be.

Specialists in children's voice disorders

If your child has a raspy voice, he or she may be experiencing a voice disorder based on overuse or misuse - typically caused by too much loud talking, shouting or constant talking. The misuse can lead to vocal cord polyps, nodules and cysts. Our experts specialize in voice disorders that affect children. We use the latest techniques to evaluate his or her condition and recommend the most age-appropriate treatment, based on their individual condition. Voice disorders in children can result from medical conditions such as allergies, asthma and reflux. You should consider a professional evaluation if your child experiences frequent laryngitis, seems to strain when talking, or complains of a scratchy throat.

Children may be born with voice disorders, or they may result from a serious medical condition. For example, your child may experience vocal cord paralysis if she or he has undergone heart or lung surgery. Or, your child may suffer from other medical conditions, such as a growth on the vocal cord (papilloma), narrowing of the airway (subglottic stenosis), congenital softening of the voice box tissues (laryngomalacia), and a common malformation of the voice box (glottic web).  All can affect your child's ability to speak, and cause breathing and swallowing problems. These conditions are treated promptly and effectively by our team of specialists.

Choose Duke for treatment of your child's voice disorders because we offer:

  • Specialists in children’s voice problems.  Your child's medical team includes laryngologists, speech pathologists and singing specialists who are trained to meet the special needs of children and their families.  Laryngologists are ear, nose, and throat (ENT) physicians who undergo advanced training in voice disorders. Our laryngologists are highly skilled at complex pediatric surgeries involving the voice box. A child’s voice box is different from an adult's. Our laryngologists' special expertise is needed to ensure your child receives appropriate treatment for their stage of development. 
  • Speech pathologists and singing voice specialists. Our speech pathologists undergo specialized training to evaluate and treat children and adults with voice problems, swallowing disorders, and complex conditions. Our team also includes trained singing voice specialists. They are experienced performers, singers, and singing teachers who understand the special needs of the young singer and the challenges of being a vocal professional. Our singing voice specialists bring empathy, clinical expertise, and an insider perspective to evaluating and improving your child’s vocal health. They also provide specialized therapy to performers and singers, both adults and children. 
  • Coordinated care. Voice disorders may result from a variety of medical conditions, including allergies and asthma. We coordinate your child's care with the right specialists throughout our health system to ensure he or she receives the best therapies to minimize their symptoms, improve their voice, and optimize their recovery.
  • Treatment for all laryngeal conditions. The voice box, or larynx, is responsible for your voice, your ability to swallow, and your airway or breathing passage. Our doctors and speech pathologists treat voice, upper airway breathing and swallowing problems.  
  • Better treatment decisions. Our ongoing research ensures your child receives the best care for their voice disorder.



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