The throat is the passageway that begins at the back of the mouth. It is responsible for moving food and air into the body. It works with the nose, mouth, stomach and lungs to help us breathe, eat and speak. The throat area is also home to glands that regulate the body’s hormones. When the throat has problems, you could lose the ability to speak, have a difficult time breathing, or develop digestive problems.

Laryngitis

Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box or larynx from overuse, irritation or infection. The vocal cords are inside the voice box. When functioning normally, these folds open and close smoothly to make vocal sounds through movement and vibration. With laryngitis, the folds become swollen, making the voice hoarse or undetectable.

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Hoarseness

Hoarseness is an abnormal change in the voice. The voice can become breathy, raspy, strained, or show changes in volume or pitch. Hoarseness is most commonly caused by acute laryngitis or swelling of the vocal cords. This can result from a common cold, upper respiratory tract infection or voice strain.

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Tonsils & Adenoids

Tonsils and adenoids are glands or lymph nodes located in the throat area. The tonsils are two visible round lumps in the back of the mouth at the throat. Adenoids are high in the throat behind the nose and the roof of the mouth. They cannot be seen without special instruments. Their primary function is trapping bacteria and viruses that enter the body through the nose or mouth.

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Head & Neck Cancer

Head and neck cancers are a group of cancer conditions affecting the mouth, sinuses, nose or throat areas. Cancer can be found specifically in the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, paranasal sinuses, nasal cavity and salivary glands.

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Head & Neck Masses

Head and neck masses can be enlarged lymph nodes, congenital cysts or tumors. They can affect all age groups and should be evaluated by a doctor such as an ENT physician. They may need to use endoscopy, imaging, blood tests or biopsy to diagnose the masses and rule out cancer. Treatment may include medication, radiation or surgery to remove the mass depending on the patient and the diagnosis of the mass.

Thyroid

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck area across the windpipe and below the Adam’s apple. It is a part of the endocrine system and releases hormones essential to the body’s functions. It secretes a hormone that specifically regulates metabolic functions or the production of energy in your body. The thyroid also affects growth development and reproduction.

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Reflux

Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive condition that can affect all age groups. It occurs when the stomach acid or bile flows backwards up into the esophagus and irritates the lining. GERD occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter or muscle that prevents food from moving back up does not work correctly.…

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If you or someone you care for is experiencing problems with the throat or neck, please contact our North Sioux City office at (605) 217-4320 to schedule an appointment.