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J Voice. 1999 Mar;13(1):113-22.

Allergies and vocal fold edema: a preliminary report.

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Lakeshore Professional Voice Center, St. Clair Shores, Michigan, USA.


This paper describes different tools to rule out the etiology of vocal fold edema. A complete voice assessment is used in our Voice Center. This includes patient history, acoustic analysis, laryngeal video-stroboscopy, otolaryngology consultation, allergy testing from our Allergy Clinic, and gastroenterology consultation as appropriate. Inhalant allergy can be a hidden, yet very common cause of chronic laryngitis. Respiratory allergies can also cause decreased pulmonary function; excessive secretions in either the lower airway, trachea, bronchi or in the upper airway of the pharynx; edema of the vocal folds themselves; and unusual resonance characteristics of the pharynx or nasal cavity due to congestion of the membrane in those areas. Voice patients with a history of seasonal hay fever, a history of allergic reactions around cats or dogs, or a strong family history of allergies should be allergy tested. Screening tests for allergies are available, which include a screening radioallergosorbent test or a screening panel of scratch or intradermal skin tests. Once specific allergens are identified, recommendations for therapy or other intervention can be made. Straining the voice, in combination with the above conditions, can increase the voice problem. The histories, allergy test results, and voice laboratory evaluations of several patients are described. Identifying these voice patients and treating their allergies are important in keeping these patients healthy and maintaining a clear, good voice quality. The multidisciplinary approach in voice disorders is indispensable in diagnosis and treatment of these disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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