Children’s divisions of Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose, and Throat) and Hearing and Speech coordinate a monthly Voice Clinic 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 Clinic Helps
The program directors, pediatric otolaryngologist Sukgi Choi, MD, and speech pathologist Chris Ritthaler, MSCCC-SLP, and the clinic team 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 Clinic 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.
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- Departments & Programs - Children's National Medical Center